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Full text of "The uprising of a great people. The United States in 1861"

s. G. & E. L. ELBERT 



C. ScRiBNER has just pul lished 



LIFE OF GENERAL WINFIELD SCOTT. Bj 
J. T. Headley, author of " Washington and His Gen- 
erals," " Napoleon and His Marshals," Life of 
Havelock," &c. With a fine Portrait on Steel. In 
1 vol., 12mo. Price, 75 cents. 

Extract from Pre/ace. 
In view of the struggle on which he has entered, I have thought 
it desirable to trace his past history up to the present time, on which 
such momentous destinies hang, to refresh our memory with an ac- 
count of his gallant deeds, and to contemplate, from the new point 
we occupy, the man to whom we have committed our destiny. 

*' Those who are interested in the military career of the chief 
leaders of the rebel army, who won all their laurels under the Stars 
and Stripes and leadership of the noble old patriot they are now in 
arms against, will find some account of them in the latter part of 
the work." 



THE UPRISmG 

OF A GREAT PEOPLE. 

THE UNITED STATES IN 1861. 

FROM THE FPwENCn OF 

COUNT AGÉNOR DE GASPARIN, 
BY MARY L. BOOTH. 

FOURTH EDITION. 



NEW YORK: 

CHARLES SCRIBNER, 124 GRAND STREET. 
1861. 



Entered, according to Act of Congi-ess, in the year 1861, by 
CHAPwLES SCEIBNEE, 
in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the Southern 
District of New York. 



JOHN F. TROW, 
PRII7TEB, 8TERE0TTPER, AND ELECTROTTPEH, 

46, 48 & 50 Greene Street, 
New York, 



TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE. 



At this moment, when we are anxiously scrutinizing 
every indication of European feeling with respect to the 
American question, the advent of a book, bearing the 
stamp of a close philosophical, political, and practical 
study of the subject, and written, withal, in so hopeful a 
spirit as to make us feel with the writer that whatever 
may result from the present crisis must be for good, can- 
not fail to be of public interest and utility. So truly 
prophetic is this work in its essence, that we can hardly 
believe that it was written in great part amid the mists 
that preceded the inauguration of Mr. Lincoln. All prob- 
abilities appear to have been foreseen, and the unerring 
exactness with which events have taken place hitherto 
precisely in the direction indicated by the author, encour- 
ages us to believe that this will continue until his predic- 
tions will have been fulfilled to the end. Clear-sighted, 
philosophical, appreciative of American genius and accom- 
plishment, critical, yet charitable to tenderness, stigmatiz- 



vi 



translator's peeface. 



ing the fault, yet forgiving the offender, cheering our na- 
tion onward by words of encouragement, bravely spoken 
at the needed moment, menacing Europe with the scorn 
of posterity, if, forgetting her oft-repeated professions, she 
dare forsake the side of liberty to traffic in principles ; 
such is the scope of what a late reviewer calls the wissest 
book which has been written upon America since De Toc- 
queville." 

Few men arc better qualified to judge American 
affairs than Count de Gasparin. A many-sided man, com- 
bining the scholar, the statesman, the politician, the man of 
letters, and the finished gentleman, possessed of every ad- 
vantage of culture, wealth, and position, he has devoted a 
long life to the advocacy of liberty in all its forms, whether 
religious or political, and has ended by making a profound 
study of American history and politics, the accuracy of 
which is truly remarkable. A few facts with respect to 
his career, kindly furnished by his personal friend. Rev. 
Dr. Robert Baird, of New York, will be here in place. 

Count Agénor Ètiénne de Gasparin was born at 
Orange, July 4, 1810. His family is Protestant, and of 
Corsican origin ; his father was a man of talent and posi- 
tion, and served for many years as Prefect of the District 
of the Rhone, and afterwards as Minister of the Interior* 
under Louis Philippe, by whom he was highly esteemed. 
He received a liberal education, and devoted himself es- 
pecially tp literature, till 1842, when he was elected by 



translatok's pkeface. 



vii 



the people of the island of Corsica to represent them in 
the Chamber of Deputies. Here began his political ca- 
reer. At that time, religious liberty was in danger of 
perishing in France, assailed by the powerful opposition 
of the tribunals and the administration. De Gasparin 
declared himself its champion, and, in an eloquent speech 
in the Chamber of Deputies, which moved the audience 
to tears, he boldly accused the courts of perverting the 
civil code in favor of religious intolerance, and claimed 
unlimited freedom for evangelical preaching and colpor- 
tage. He also made strenuous efforts to effect the imme^ 
diate emancipation of slaves in the French colonies, and 
published several essays on the subject. He devoted 
himself especially to the protection of Protestantism, and 
founded in France the Society for the Protection of Prot- 
estant interests, and the Free Protestant Church, yet, de- 
testing religious intolerance everywhere, he did not hesi- 
tate to denounce the Protestant persecutions of Sweden 
as bitterly as he had done the Catholic bigotry of France. 
He was for some time in the Ministry of the Interior, 
and was private secretary of M. Guizot, Minister of Pub- 
lic Instruction. In 1848, while travelling in Italy with 
his wife, a talented Swiss lady, the author of several 
works, he received intelligence of the downfall of the gov- 
ernment of Louis Philippe. This event closed his public 
career. He addressed a letter of condolence to the de- 
throned monarch, to whom he was warmly attached, then 



viii 



tkanslator's peeface. 



retired to Switzerland to devote himself to literature and 
philanthropy, being too warm an adherent of the Orleans 
dynasty to take part in the new administration. Politi- 
cally, he is, like Guizot, an advocate of constitutional 
monarchy. Since the Revolution, he has continued to 
reside in Switzerland. He has published numerous w^orks 
on philosophical and social questions, among which may be 
instanced: Esclavage et Traite ; De V Affranchissement des 
Esclaves; Intérêts généraux du Protestantisme Français^ 
Paganism et Christianisme, and Des tables tournantes, du 
surnaturel en général, et des esprits. 

His present work, so hopeful and sympathizing, rec- 
ommends itself to the attention of the American public ; 
and even those who may dissent from some of his posi- 
tions or conclusions, cannot but admire his vigorous com- 
prehension of the outlines of the subject, and be cheered 
by his predictions of the future. As the expression of 
thé opinion of an intelligent, clear-sighted European, in a 
position to comprehend men and things, concerning the 
storm which is now agitating the whole country, it can 
scarcely fail of a hearty welcome. I commend the follow- 
ing interpretation, which I have sought to make as con* 
scientiously literal as due regard to idioms of language 
would permit, to all true lovers of liberty and of the 
Union, of whatever State, section, or >nation. 

Mary L. Booth. 

New York, June 15, 1861. 



PREFACE. 



In publishing this study at the present time, I expose 
myself to the blame of prudent men. I shall be told that 
I ought to have waited. 

To have waited for what 1 Until there shall be no 
more great questions in Europe to dispute our attention 
with the American question"? Or until the American 
question has shaped itself, and we are able to know 
clearly what interests it will serve, in what consequences 
it will end ? 

I am not sorry, I confess, to applaud duty before it 
is recommended by success. When success shall have 
come, men eager to celebrate it will not be wanting, 
and I shall leave to them the care of demonstrating 
then that the North has been in the right, that it has 
saved the United States. 

To construct the philosophy of events after they have 
passed is very interesting, without doubt, but the work 
to be accomplished to-day is far more serious. The 
point in question is to sustain our friends when they are 
in need of us ; when their battle, far from being won, is 
scarcely begun ; the point in question is to give our sup- 



X 



PREFACE. 



port — the very considerable support of European opinion 
— at the time when it can be of service ; the point in 
question is to assume our small share of responsibility 
in one of the gravest conflicts of this age. 

Let us enlist ; for the Slave States, on their part, are 
losing no time. They have profited well, I must admit, 
by the advantages assured to them by the complicity of 
the ministers of Mr. Buchanan. In the face of the inev- 
itable indecision of a new government, around which care 
had been taken to accumulate in advance every impossi- 
bility of acting, the decided bearing of the extreme South, 
its airs of audacity and defiance have had a certain éclat 
and a certain success. Already its partisans raise their 
heads ; they dare speak in its favor among us j they in- 
sult free trade, by transforming it into an argument 
destined to serve the interests of slavery. And shall 
we remain mute 1 Shall we listen to the counsels of 
that false wisdom that always comes too late, so much 
does it fear to declare itself too early 1 Shall we not 
feel impelled to show in all its true light the sacred 
cause of liberty ? Ah ! I declare that the blood boils in 
my veins ; I have hastened and would gladly have has- 
tened still more. Circumstances independent of my will 
alone have retarded a publication prepared more than a 
month ago. 

Orange, March 19, 1861. 



CONTENTS. 



Chap, Pagb 

Introduction, ' . . . 9 

I. — ^American Slavery, 13 

IL — Where the Nation was drifting before the Elec- 
tion OF Mr. Lincoln, 20 

in. — ^What the Election of Mr. Lincoln Signifies, . 35 
lY. — What we are to think of the United States, . 52 
y. — The Churches and Slatert, . ... 12 
VI. — The Gospel and Slavery, . . . . .92 

VIL — The Present Crisis, 107 

VIII. — Probable Consequences of the Crisis, . . . 141 
IX. — Coexistence of the two Races after Emancipation, 194 
X. — The Present Crisis will Regenerate the Institu- 
tions OF the United States, . . . .225 
Conclusion, 244 



A GEEAT PEOPLE EISING, 



INTRODUCTION. 

The title of this work will produce the effect of 
a paradox. The general opinion is that the United 
States continued to pursue an upward course until 
the election of Mr. Lincoln, and that since then 
they have been declining. It is not difficult, and 
it is very necessary, to show that this opinion is ab- 
solutely false. Before the recent victory of the ad- 
versaries of slavery, the American Confederation, in 
spite of its external progress and its apparent pros- 
perity, was suffering from a fearful malady which 
had well-nigh proved mortal ; now, an operation 
has taken place, the sufferings have increased, the 
gravity of the situation is revealed for the first time, 
perhaps, to inattentive eyes. Does this mean that the 
situation was not grave when it did not appear so ? 
Does this mean that we must deplore a violent crisis 

which alone can bring the cure ? 
1* 



10 



INTRODUCTION, 



I do not deplore it — admire it. I recognize 
in this energetic reaction against the disease, the 
moral vigor of a j)eople habituated to the laborious 
struggles of liberty. The rising of a people is one 
of the rarest and most marvellous prodigies pre- 
sented by the annals of humanity. Ordinarily, na- 
tions that begin to decline, decline constantly more 
and more ; a rare power of life is needed to retrieve 
their position, and stop in its course a decay once 
begun. 

We have a strange way of seconding the gen- 
erous enterprise into which the United States have 
entered with so much courage ! "We prophesy to 
them nothing but misfortunes ; we almost tell them 
that they have ceased to exist ; we give them to 
understand, that in electing Mr. Lincoln they have 
renounced their greatness ; that they have precipi- 
tated themselves head foremost into an abyss ; that 
they have ruined their prosperity, sacrificed their 
future, rendered henceforth impossible the magnifi- 
cent character which was reserved to them. Mr. 
Buchanan, we seem to say, is the last President of 
the Union. 

This, thank God, is the reverse of the truth. 
But lately, indeed, the United States were advan- 
cing to their ruin ; but lately there was reason to 



I 

mïKODUCTIOX. 11 

mourn in thinking of tliem ; tlie steps might have 
been counted which it remained for them to take to 
complete the union of their destiny with that of an 
accursed and perishable institution — an institution 
which corrupts and destroys every thing with which 
it comes in contact. To-day, new prospects are 
opening to them ; they will have to combat, to 
labor, to suffer ; the crime of a century is not re- 
paired in a day ; the right path when long forsaken 
is not found again without effort ; guilty traditions 
and old complicities are not broken through with- 
out sacrifices. It is none the less true, notwith- 
standing, that the hour of effort and of sacrifice, 
grievous as it may be, is the very hour of deliver- 
ance. The election of Mr. Lincoln will be one of 
the great dates of American history ; it closes the 
past, but it opens the future. "With it is about to 
commence, if the same spirit be maintained, and if 
excessive concessions do not succeed in undoing all 
that has been done, a new era, at once purer and 
greater than that which has just ended. 

Let others accuse me of optimism ; I willingly 
agree to it. I believe that optimism is often right 
here below. We need hope ; we need sometimes 
to receive good news ; we need to see sometimes 
the bright side of things. The bright side is often 



12 



INTRODUCTION. 



tlie true side ; if Love is blindfolded, I see a triple 
bandage on the eyes of Hate. Kindliness has its 
privileges ; and I do not think myself in a worse 
position than another to judge the United States 
because they inspire me with an earnest sympathy ; 
because, after having mourned their faults and 
trembled at their perils, I have joyfully saluted the 
noble and manly policy of which the election of 
' Mr. Lincoln is the symptom. Is it not true, that at 
the first news we all seemed to breathe a whiff of 
pure and free air from the other side of the ocean ? 

It is a pleasure, in times like ours, to feel that 
certain principles still live ; that they will be 
obeyed, cost what it may ; that questions of con- 
science can yet sometimes weigh down questions 
of profit. The abolition of slavery will be, I have 
always thought, the principal conquest of the nine- 
teenth century. This will be its recommendation 
in the eyes of posterity, and the chief compensation 
for many of its weaknesses. As for us old soldiers 
of emancipation, who have not ceased to combat 
for it for twenty years and more, at the tribunal 
and elsewhere, we shall be excused without doubt 
for seeing in the triumph of our American friends 
something else than a subject of lamentation. 



CHAPTEE I. 



AMEKICAN SLAVERY. 

If they liad not triumplied, do you know wlio 
would have gamed the victory ? Slavery is only a 
word — a vile word, doubtless, but to which we in 
time become habituated. To wdiat do we not be- 
come habituated ? We have stores of indulgence 
and indifference for the social iniquities which have 
found their way into the current of cotemporary 
civilization, and which can invoke prescription. 
So w^e have come to speak of American slavery 
with perfect sang froid. We are not, therefore, to 
stop at the word, but to go straight to the thing ; 
and the thing is this : 

Every day, in all the Soutliern States, families 
are sold at retail : the father to one, the mother to 
another, the son to a third, the young daughter to 
a fourth ; and the father, the mother, the children, 
are scattered to the four winds of heaven ; these 



14 



AMEBICAK SLAYEKY. 



hearts are broken, these poor bemgs are given a 
prey to infamy and sorrow, these marriages are 
ruptured, and adulterous imions arc formed twenty 
leagues, a hundred leagues away, in the bosom and 
with the assent of a Christian community. Every 
day, too, the domestic slave-trade can-ies on its 
work ; merchants in human flesh ascend the Mis- 
sissippi, to seek in the j)roduc{7ig States wherewith 
to fill up the vacuum caused unceasingly by slav- 
ery in the consuming States ; their ascent made, 
they scour the farms of Virginia or of Kentucky, 
buying here a boy, there a girl ; and other hearts 
are torn, other families are dispersed, other name- 
less crimes are accomplished coolly, simply, legally : 
it is the necessary revenue of the one, it is the in- 
dispensable supply of the others. Must not the 
South live, and how dares any one travesty a fact 
so simple ? by what right was penned that eloquent 
calumny called Uncle Tom's Cabin " ? 

A calumny ! I ask how any one would set to 
work to calumniate the customs which I have just 
described. Say, then, that the laws of the South are 
a calumny, that the official acts of the South are a 
calumny ; for I affirm that the simple reading of 
these acts and these laws, a glance at the advertise- 
ments of a Southern journal, saddens the heart 



AMEPJCAX SLAVERY. 



15 



more, and -wounds the conscience deeper, than the 
most poignant pages of Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe. 
I admit willingly that there are many masters who 
are very kind and very good. I admit that there 
are some slaves who are relatively happy. I cast 
aside imhesitatingly the stories of exceptional cruel- 
ty ; it is enough for me to see that these happy 
slaves expose themselves to a thousand deaths to 
escape a situation declared preferable to that of 
our workmen." It is enough for me to hear the 
heart-rending cries of those women and young girls 
who, adjudged to the highest and last bidder, be- 
come, by the law and in a Christian country, the 
property, yes, the property (excuse the word, it is 
the true one) of the debauchees, their 23urchasers. 
And remark here that the virtues of the master are 
a weak guarantee : he may die, he may become 
bankrupt, and nothing then can hinder his slaves 
from beins; sold into the hands of the buver who 
scours the country and makes his choice. 

We should calumniate the South if we amused 
ourselves by making a collection of atrocious deeds, 
in the same manner that we should calumniate 
France by seeking in the Police Gazette for the de- 
scription of her social state. There is, notwith- 
standing, this difference between the iniquities of 



16 



AMEKICAK SLAVERY. 



slavery and our own : the first are almost always 
unpunished, while the second are repressed by 
the courts. An institution which permits evil, 
creates it in a great measure : in saying that men 
are things, it necessarily engenders more crimes, 
more acts of violence, more cowardly deeds, than 
the imagination of romancers will ever invent. 
When a class has neither the right to complain, 
nor to defend itself, nor to testify in laAv ; when it 
cannot make its voice heard in any manner, we 
may be excused for not taking in earnest the idyls 
chanted on its felicity. We must be ignorant at 
once of the heart of man and of history to preseiwe 
the slightest doubt on this point. I add that those 
who, like me, have had in their hands the docu- 
ments of our colonial slavery, have become terribly 
suspicious, and are likely to look with a skeptical 
eye on these Arcadian descrijDtions, the worth of 
which they can appreciate. 

Once more, I do not contest the humanity of 
many masters, but I remember that there were hu- 
mane masters too in Martinique, Guadeloupe, and 
Bourbon ; yet this did not j)revent the discovery, 
on a rigid scrutiny, sometimes of excesses, as fearful 
as inevitable, of the discretionary power ; at others, 
of a systematic depravation, and this to such a 



AMERIC^iJS' SLAYEKY. 



17 



point that in one of onr colonies tlie custom of 
regular unions had become absolutely unknown to 
the slaves. 

I cannot help believing that man is the same 
everywhere. ÎTever, in any time or in any lati- 
tude, has it been given him to possess his fellow, 
without fearful misfortunes having resulted to both. 
Have we not heard celebrated the delightful mild- 
ness of Spanish slavery in Cuba ? Travellers enter- 
tained by the Creoles usually return enchanted 
with it. Yet, notwithstanding, it is found that on 
quitting the cities and penetrating into the planta- 
tions, the most barbarous system of labor is discov- 
ered that exists in the entire world. Cuba devours 
her black population so rapidly that she is unceas- 
ingly obliged to purchase negroes from abroad ; 
and these, being once on the island, have not before 
them an average life exceeding ten years ! In the 
United States, the planters of the extreme South 
are also obliged to renew their supply of negroes ; 
but, as they have recourse to the domestic instead 
of the African trade, and as the domestic trade fur- 
nishes slaves at an excessively high price, it follows 
that motives of interest oppose the adoption of the 
destructive system of Cuba. Other higher motives 
also oppose it, I am certain ; and I am far from 



18 



AÎIERICAN SLAVERY. 



comparing the system of Louisiana or the Carolinas 
to that which prevails in the Spanish island. We 
exaggerate nothing, however ; and whatever may- 
be the points of difference, we may hold it as cer- 
tain that those of resemblance are still more nu- 
merous : the tree is the same, it cannot but bear 
the same fruits. 

It must be affirmed, besides, that slavery is pe- 
culiarly odious on that soil where the equality of 
mankind has been inscribed with so much eclat at 
the head of a celebrated constitution. Liberty im- 
poses obligations ; there is at the bottom of the 
human conscience something which will always 
cause slavery to be more scandalous at AVashington 
than at Havana. "What happens in the United 
States will be denounced more violently, more 
loudly, than what happens in Brazil ; and this is 
right. 

This said, I pause : I have not the slightest wish 
to introduce here a perfectly superfluous discussion 
on the principle and the consequences of slavery. 
I know all with which Americans reproach us 
Europeans. It was we. Frenchmen, Englishmen, 
Spaniards, Hollanders, who imposed on them this 
institution which we take delight in combating — 
this inheritance which we anathematize ! Before at- 



AMERICAN SLAVERY. 



19 



tacking slavery, we would do well to turn our at- 
tention to our own crimes — to the oppression of the 
weak in our manufactories, for instance ! But these 
retaliatory arguments have the fault of proving 
nothing at all. We will leave them ; we have said 
enough on the nature of American slavery ; let us 
proceed to the special study of our work. 



20 WIIEEE THE UNITED STATES WERE DRIFTINa 



CHAPTER II. 

WHERE THE UNITED STATES WERE DRIFTINa BEFORE 
THE ELECTION OF MR. LINCOLN. 

I HAYE spoken of the great perils wliich the 
United States encountered before the election of 
Mr. Lincoln. The time has come to enter into 
some details in justification of this proposition, 
which must have appeared strange at first sight, 
but the terms of which I have weighed well : if the 
slavery party had again achieved a victory, the 
United States would have gone to ruin. These are 
the facts : 

Formerly, there was but one opinion among 
Americans on the subject of slavery. The South- 
erners may have considered it as a necessary evil ; 
" in any case, they considered it as an evil. Carolina 
herself nobly resisted its introduction upon her 
soil ; other colonies did the same. Washington in- 
scribed the wish in his will that so baleful an insti- 



BEFORE THE ELECTIOIST OF MK. LINCOLN. 21 

tution might be promptly suppressed. To pen up 
slavery, to prevent its extension, to reduce it to the 
role of a local and temporary fact, which it was de- 
termined to restrain still more — such was the senti- 
ment which prevailed in the South, as in the North. 
And, in fact, slavery was ere long abolished in the 
majority of the States composing the Union. To- 
day, slavery has become a beneficent, evangelical 
institution, the corner-stone of republics, the foun- 
dation of all liberties ; it has become a source of 
blessings for the blacks as for the whites. We not 
only are not to think of reducing the number 
of slave States, but it becomes important to increase 
them unceasingly : to interdict to slavery the en- 
trance into a new territory is almost iniquitous. 
Such are the theories proclaimed by the governors, 
by the legislators of the cotton States ; they pro- 
pose them openly, without scruple and without cir- 
cumlocution, under the name of political — what do 
I say ? of moral and Christian axioms. For these 
theories they take fire, they become excited ; they 
feel that enthusiasm which was inspired in other 
times by the love of liberty. See entire popula- 
tions, who, under the eye of God, and invoking his 
support, devote themselves, body, soul, and goods, 
to the holy cause of slavery, its conquests, its 



22 WHERE THE UNITED STATES WERE DRIFTING 

indefinite extension, its inter-State and African 
* trade. 

And the conquests of slavery do not figure only 
in platforms ; tliey are pursued and accomplished 
eflTectively on the soil of America. In the face of 
the nineteenth century, free Texas has been trans- 
formed into a slave State. To create other slave 
countries is the aim proposed ; and slave countries 
multiply, and the South does not tolerate the slight- 
est obstacle to conquests of this kind,^ and it goes 
forward, and nothing stops it — I am wrong, the 
election of Mr. Lincoln has stopped it, and this is 
why its fury breaks out to-day. 

One would be furious for less cause ! Every 
thing had gone so well till then ! Tlie South spoke 
as a master, and the ISTorth humbly bowed its head 
before its imperious commands. Its exactions in- 
creased from day to day, and it was not difficult to 
see to what abysses it was leading the entire Amer- 
ican Union. Shall we give our readers an idea of 
this crescendo of pretensions ? 

We will content ourselves with going back to 
the last Mexican war and to the Wilmot proviso. 
Tliis was, as is known, a measure, orprovlsOy stipu- 
lating that slavery could not be introduced into 
conquered provinces. Such vras the starting point. 



BEFOEE THE ELECHON OF MR. LINCOLN. 23 



It was sought then to prevent the territorial exten- 
sion of slavery. Tliis seems to me reasonable 
enough ; and I am not astonished that the Lincoln 
platform tends simplv to return to this primitive 
policy. Some time after this, the Missouri ques- 
tion presents itself : Shall the number of slave 
States be increased ? Is this leprosy to be permit- 
ted to extend ? AVill the Northern countries be 
invaded in their turn ? The struggle is earnest and 
long. Finally the South carries the cause ; the in- 
troduction of slavery into the new State is accorded 
it, but on condition that this introduction shall be 
henceforth prohibited beyond the 36th degree of 
latitude. This is called the Missouri Compromise. 

Ere long the South complains of this limit set to 
the development of its peculiar institution. 
Other combats, another victory. A bill proposed 
by Mr. Douglas annuls the Missouri Compromise, 
and, based on tlie principle of local sovereignties, 
withdraws from Confess the rio^ht to interfere iu 
the question of slavery. 

The Wilmot proviso could not subsist in the 
presence of these absolute pretensions. Tlie liberty 
of slavery (pardon me this mournful and involun- 
tary conjunction) finds an application on the spot. 
At this juncture, Texas, a province detached from 



24 WHERE THE TNITED STATES AVERE DRIFTINO 

Mexico, is admitted in the quality of a slave 
State. 

Wliat liappens then ? The partisans of slavery, 
liampered by nothing any longer, either by limits 
at the North, or limits at the South, or provisos, or 
compromises, encounter, to their great horror, an 
obstacle of quite a different nature. The local sov- 
ereignty which they have invoked turns against 
them ; in the Territory of Kansas, the majority 
votes the exclusion of slavery. At once the South- 
erners change theory ; against local sovereignty 
they invoke the central power ; they demand, they 
exact that the decisions of the majority in Kansas 
shall be trodden under foot ; they put forward the 
natural right of slavery. Why shall they be pre- 
vented from settling in a Territory with the slaves, 
their property ? "When this Territory shall be by 
and by transformed into a State, there will doubt- 
less be a right to determine the question ; but to 
abolish slavery is quite a different thing from ex- 
cluding it. 

If the South did not win the cause this time, it 
was not the fault of the government of the United 
States, but of the inhabitants of Kansas. As for 
Mr. Buchanan, he showed himself what he has con- 
stantly been, the most humble servant of the slavery 



BEFORE THE ELECTION OF ^IR. LDsCOLX. 25 

party. Tliey came togetlier into collision with 
squatter sovereignty : tliey found for tlie first time 
in their path that solid resistance of the West which 
was manifested in the last election, and which, I 
firmly hope, is about to save America. But in the 
mean time, they had taken a new step forward — a 
formidable step, and one which introduced them 
into the very bosom of the free States : they had 
obtained a decision from the Supreme Court — the 
Dred Scott decree. In the preamble of this too 
celebrated decision, the highest judicial power of 
the Confederation did not fear to proclaim two prin- 
ciples : first, that there is no difference between a 
slave and any other kind of property ; secondly, 
that all American citizens may settle everywhere 
with their property. 

What a menace for the free-soilers ! How easy 
to see to what lengths the South would shortly 
go ! Since slavery constituted property like any 
other, it was necessary to prohibit the majority 
from proscribing it in States as well as in Terri- 
tories. "Who knew whether we should not some 
day see slaves and even slave-markets (the right of 
j)roperty carries with it that of sale) in the streets 
even of Philadelphia or Boston ! 

Let no one cry out against this : those who de- 



2G WHERE THE UNITED STATES WEEE DEIFTTNG 

manded and those wlia framed the Dred Scott de- 
cision knew probably wliat tliey Yv'islied to do. 
With the right of property understood in this wise, 
no State has the power either to vote the real abo- 
lition of slavery, or to forbid the introduction of 
slaves, or to refuse their extradition. And, effect- 
ively, horrible laws, ordering fugitive slaves to be 
given up, were accorded to the violent demands of 
the South. Liberty by contact with the soil, that 
great maxim of our Europe, was interdicted Ameri- 
ca ; the very States that most detested slavery were 
condemned to assist, indignant and shuddering, in 
.the federal invasion of a sheriff entering their 
homes to lay hands on a poor negro, who had be- 
lieved in their hospitality, and who was about to 
be delivered up to the whip of the planter. 

It was asking much of the patience of the North ; 
yet, notwithstanding, this patience was not yet at 
an end. The Administration was given up a prey 
to the will of the Southerners. On their prohibi- 
tion, the mails ceased to carry books, journals, let- 
ters, which excited their suspicion. They had seized 
upon the policy of the Union, and they ruled it ac- 
cording to their liking. "No one has forgotten those 
enterprises, favored underhand, then disavowed after 
failure, those filibustering exjDeditions in Central 



BEFOKE THE ELECTION OF MR. LINCOLN. 



27 



America and in the island of Cuba. Tliey were 
the policy of the South, executed by Mr. Bu- 
chanan with his accustomed docility. The point 
in question was to make conquests, and conquests 
for slavery. By any means, and at any price, the 
South was to procure new States. Cuba would 
furnish some, several would be carved out of Mexico 
and Central ximerica ; for otherwise the slavery 
majorities v/ould be compromised in Congress, and 
slavery would be forced to renounce forever the 
election of the Presidents of free America. To 
avoid such a misfortune, there is nothing that they 
would not have been ready to undertake. 

Thus, step after step, and exaction after exaction, 
overthrowing, one after the other, all barriers, the 
Wilmot proviso, the Missouri Compromise, the right 
of majorities in the Territories, the very sovereignty 
of the States annulled by the Dred Scott decision, 
the South had succeeded in drawing the United 
States into those violent and dishonest political 
practices which filled the administration of Mr. Bu- 
chanan. The barriers of public probity, and the 
right of men, yielded in turn ; the administration 
dared write officially that Cuba was necessary to 
the United States, and that the aiTranchisement of 
slaves in Cuba would be a legitimate cause of war. 



28 WHERE THE UNITED STATES WEKE DHIFTI:n'G 



The United States were yoked to the car of slavery : 
to make slave States, to conquer Territories for slav- 
ery, to prevent the terrible misfortune of an aboli- 
tion of slavery, such was the programme. In nego- 
tiations, in elections, nothing else vras perceived 
than this. If the liberty of the seas and the inde- 
pendence of the flag were proudly claimed, it was 
by the order of the Scnth, and there resulted thence, 
whether desired or not, a progressive resurrection 
of the African slave-trade ; if candidates in favor 
of the maintenance of the Union were recommended, 
it was to assure the conquests of slavery within and 
without, the invasion of neighboring countries, the 
extradition of fugitive slaves, the subjugation of 
majorities rebellious to the South, the suppression 
of laws disagreeable to the South, the overthrow of 
the last obstacles v/hicli fettered the progress of the 
South 

And it was thus far, to this degree of disorder 
and abasement, that a noble people had been 
dragged downwards in the course of years, sinking 
constantly deeper, abandoning, one by one, its 
guarantees, losing its titles to the esteem of other 
nations, approaching the abyss, seeing the hour 
draw nigh in Avhich to rise would be impossible, 
bringing down maledictions upon itself, forcing 



BEFOKE THE ELECTION OF ]VIK. LINCOLN. 29 

those wlio love it to reflect on tlie words of one of 
its most illustrious leaders : I tremble for my 
country, wlien I remember that God is just ! " 

All this under the tyrannical and pitiless influ- 
ence of a minority constantly transformed into a 
majority ! Picture to yourself a man on a vessel 
standing by the gun-room with a lighted match in 
his hand ; he is alone, but the rest obey him, for at 
the first disobedience he will blow up himself with 
all the crew. This is precisely what has been go- 
ing on in America since she went adrift. The 
working of the ship was commanded by the man 
who held the match. " At the first disobedience, 
we will quit you." Such has always been the lan- 
guage of the Southern States. They were known to 
be capable of keeping their word ; therefore, there 
ceased to be but one argument in America : seces- 
sion. " Revoke the compromise, or else secession ; 
modify the legislation of the free States, or else se- 
cession ; risk adventures, and imdertake conquests 
with us for slavery, or else secession ; lastly and 
above all, never sufi*er yourselves to elect a j)resi- 
dent who is not our candidate, or else secession." 

TIuis spoke the South, and the North submitted. 
Let us not be unduly surprised at it, there was pa- 
triotism in this weakness ; many citizens, inimical 



30 Vv^nERE THE ^^'ITED states weke driftixg 

to slaveiy, forbore to combat its progress, in order 
to avoid what appeared to them a greater evih 
Declivities like these are descended qiiicklj, and the 
deplorable presidency of Mr. Buchanan stands to 
testify to this. The policy of the United States had 
become doubtful ; their good renown was dwindling 
away even with their warmest friends ; their cause 
was becoming blended more and more with that of 
servitude ; their liberties were compromised, and the 
Federal institutions were bending before the " insti- 
tution " of the South ; no more rights of the majority 
before the institution ; " no more sovereignty of the 
States before the " institution." The ultra policy of 
Mr. Buchanan had coveted Cuba, essayed violence 
in Kansas, given up the government of America in 
fine to a cabinet of such a stamp, that a majority 
was nearly found in it, ready to disavow Major An- 
derson, and to order the evacuation of forts of the 
Confederation, menaced by Carolinian forces. 

During this time, an incredible fact had come 
to light. It was one of the glories of America to have 
abolished the African slave trade before any other na- 
tion, and even to have put it on the same footing with 
the crime of piracy. The South had openly de- 
manded the re-establishment of a commerce which 
alone could ftmnsh it at some day with the number 



BEFOr.E THE ELECTION OF MR. LINCOLN. 



31 



of negroes proportioned to its vast designs. "What 
had Mr. Buchanan done? He donbtless had not 
consented officially to an enormity which Congress, 
on its part, wonld not have tolerated ; but repression 
had become so lax under his administration, that 
the number of slave ships fitted out in the ports of 
the United States had at length become very con- 
siderable. The port of Xew York alone, which 
participates but too much in the misdeeds and ten- 
dencies of the South, fitted out eighty-five slavers 
between the months of February, 1859, and July, 
1860. These slavers proudly bore the United 
States' flag over the seas, and defied the English 
cruisers. As for the American cruisers, Mr. Bu- 
chanan had taken care to remove them all from 
Cuba, where every one knows that the living car- 
groes are landed. The slave trade is therefore in 
the height of prosperity, whatever the last presi- 
dential message may say of it, and as to the appli- 
cation of the laws concerning piracy, I do not see 
that they have had many victims. 

We can now measure the perils which menaced 
the United States. It was not such or such a meas- 
ure in particular, but .a collection of measures, all 
directed towards the same end, and tending mutu- 
ally to complete each other : conquests, the domestic 



32 AVIIERS TIÎK UNITED STATES WEEK DRIFTI^'a 

and the foreign slave trade, the overthroTV of the few 
barriers opposed to the extension of slavery, the de- 
basement of institutions, the definitive enthroning of 
an adventurous policy, a policy without princi2:)le3 
and without scruples; to this the country was advanc- 
ing with rapid strides. Do they who raise their hands 
and eyes to heaven, because the election of Mr. Lin- 
coln has caused the breaking forth of an inevitable 
crisis, fancy then that the crisis would have been 
less serious if it had broken forth four years later, 
when the evil would have been without remedy ? 
Already, the five hundred thousand slaves of the 
last century have given place to four millions ; was 
it advisable to wait until there were twenty mil- 
lions, and until vast territories, absorbed by Amer- 
ican power, had been peopled by blacks torn from 
Africa ? "Was it advisable to await the time when 
the South should have become decidedly the most 
important part of the Confederation, and when the 
In orth, forced to secede, should have left to others 
the name, the prestige, the flag of the United States ? 
Do they fancy that, by chance, with the supremacy 
of the South, with its conquests, with the monstrous 
development of its slavery, secession would have 
been avoided ? Xo ! it would have appeared some 
day as a necessary fact ; only it would have been 



BEFOKE TIIE ELECTION OF MR. LIXCOLX. 33 

accomplished under different auspices and in differ- 
ent conditions. Such a secession Trould have been 
death, a shameful death. 

And slavery itself, who imagines, then, that it 
can be immortal ? It is in vain to extend it ; it will 
perish amidst its conquests and through its con- 
quests : one can predict this without being a prophet. 
But, between the suppression of slavery such as we 
hope will some time take j)lace, and that which we 
should have been forced to fear, in case the South 
had carried it still further, is the distance which 
separates a hard crisis from a terrible catastrophe. 
The South knows not what nameless misfortunes it 
has perhaps just escaped. K it had been so imfor- 
tunate as to conquer, if it had been so unfortunate 
as to carry out its plans, to create slave States, to 
recruit with negroes from Africa, it would have cer- 
tainly paved the way, with its own hands, for one 
of those bloody disasters before which the imagina- 
tion recoils : it would have shut itself out from all 
chance of salvation. 

It is not possible, in truth, to put an end to cer- 
tain crimes, and wholly avoid their chastisement ; 
there will always be some suffering in deliver- 
ing the American Confederation from slavery, and 
it depends to-day again upon the South to aggra- 
2* 



34 WIIEKE THE UNITED STATES WEKE DFwIFTI^G. 

rate, in a fearful measure, the pain of the transition. 
However, what w^ould not have been possible with 
the election of Mr. Douglas or Mr. Breckenridge, 
has become possible now with the election of Mr. 
Lincoln ; we are at liberty to hope henceforth for 
the rising of a great people. 



CHAPTER III. 



WHAT THE ELECTIOIT OF MR. LINCOLN SIGNIFIES. 



I THINK that I have justified the fundamental 
idea of this work, and the title which I have given 
it. If the slavery policy had achieved a new 
triumph ; if the North had not elected its Presi- 
dent, the first that has belonged to it in full since 
the existence of the Confederation ; if supremacy 
had not ranged itself in fine on the side with force 
and justice, this unstable balance would have had 
its hour of downfall : and what a downfall ! Of 
so much true liberty, of so much progress, of so 
many noble examples, what would have been left 
standing ? Tlie secession of the South is not the 
secession of the North ; afi*ranchisement with four 
millions of slaves is not afiranchisement with twenty 
millions ; the crisis of 1861 is not that of 1865 or 
of 1869. The United States, I repeat, with a pro- 



36 WHAT THE ELECTION OF MK. LINCOLN SIGNIFIES. 

found and studied conviction, — the United States 
liave just been saved. 

There are those Avho ask gravely whether the 
electors of Mr. Lincoln have a plan all ready to 
efiect the abolition of slavery. We answer that 
this is not in question. Among the inJluential and 
earnest men of the victorious party, not one could 
be cited who would think of proposing any plan 
whatever of emancipation. One thing alone is 
proposed : to check the conquests of slavery. That 
it shall not be extended, that it shall be confined 
within its present limits, is all that is sought to- 
day. The policy of the founders of the Con- 
federation has become that of their successors in 
turn ; and to this policy, what can be objected ? 
Is not the sovereignty of the States respected ? do 
they not remain free to regulate what concerns 
them ? do they not preserve the right of postponing, 
so long as they deem proper, the solution of a 
dreaded problem ? could not this solution be thought 
over and prepared by those who best know its 
elements ? 

Tlic matter is, indeed, more Complicated and 
difficult than is generally imagined. Should we 
be imprudent enough to meddle with it, we miglit 
rightfully be blamed. Here, summary proceedings 



WHAT THE ELECTION OF MK. LINCOLN SIGNIFIES. 37 

are evidently not admissible. Time and the spirit 
of Christianity must do their work by degrees ; 
they will do it, be sure, provided the evil be cir- 
cumscribed, provided the seat of the conflagration 
be hemmed in and prevented henceforth from 
spreading further. 

N'ow, such is the great result acquired by the 
election of Mr. Lincoln ; it is nothing more than 
thiSj but it is all this : it is prudence in the present, 
and it is also the certainty of success in the future. 
Emancipation is by no means decreed ; it will not 
be for a long time, perhaps : yet the principle of 
emancipation is established, irrevocably established 
in the sight of all. Irrevocability has prodigious 
power over our minds : without being conscious of 
it, we make way for it ; we arrange in view of it 
our conduct, our plans, and even our doctrines. 
Once fully convinced that its propagandism is 
checked, that the future of which it dreamed has 
no longer any chances of success, the South itself 
will become accustomed to consider its destiny 
under a wholly new aspect. Tlie border States, in 
which emancipation is easy, will range themselves 
one after another on the side of liberty. Thus the 
extent of the evil will become reduced of itself, and 
instead of advancing, as during some years past, 



s s WIIAT THE ELECTION OF MIÎ. LtNXOLN SIGNIFIES. 



toATards a colossal dcveloimient of servitude, it will 
proceed in the direction of its gradual attenuation. 

I reason on the hypothesis of a linal mainten- 
ance of the Union, whatever may be the incidents 
of temporary secession. I am not ignorant that 
there are other hypotheses, which may possibly be 
realized, and which I shall examine in the course 
of this treatise ; but whatever may happen, I have a 
full right to call to mind the true scope of the vote 
which has just been taken. It does not involve the 
slightest idea of present emancipation ; it contents 
itself with checking the progress of slavery ; and 
to check its progress is, doubtless, to diminish the 
perils of its future abolition. 

It was important to present this observation, for 
nothing perverts our judgment of the American 
crisis more than the inexact definitions which are 
given of abolitionism. liVe willingly picture abo- 
litionists to om^selves as madmen, seeking to attain 
their end on the spot, regardless of all else, through 
blood and ruin ! That there may be such is possi- 
ble, is even inevitable ; but the men who exercise 
any political influence over the Xorth have not for 
a moment adopted such theories. This is so true, 
that the other day, at Boston, the people themselves 
('the people who nominated Mr. Lincoln) dispersed 



WHAT THE ELECTION OF MR. LINCOLN SIGNIFIES. 39 

a meeting intended to discuss plans of immediate 
emancipation. 

What if abolitionism, moreover, bo a party ? 
what if it make use of the means employed by par- 
ties? what if it have its jom^nals, its publicists, 
its orators ? what if it seek allies ? what if it be 
based on interests which may be given it by the 
majority? what if it appeal to the passions of the 
North, as the slavery j)arty appeals to those of the 
South ? I do not see, in truth, why this should as- 
tonish us. I am far from believing that all the 
acts of abolitionism are worthy of approbation ; I 
say only that it would be puerile to repudiate a 
great party for the sole reason that it has the bear- 
ing of a party. The duty of citizens in a free 
country is to choose between parties, and to unite 
with that whose cause is just and holy. Let them 
protest against wrong measures, let them refuse to 
participate in them — nothing can be better ; but to 
withdraw into a sort of political Thebais because 
the noblest parties have stains on their banner, is, 
in truth, to turn their back on the civil obligations 
of real life. 

The abolition party is a noble one. Several of 
its champions have given their lives to propagate 
their faith. But lately, indeed, the Texan journals 



40 \yHAT THE ELECTION OF ME. LINCOLN SIGNIFIES. 

took j)ains to tell iis that a number of tliem had 
just been hung m that State; and, without even 
speaking of these noble victims, whose death com- 
pletes the dishonor of the Southern cause, are there 
any bolder deeds in the history of mankind than those 
of the citizens of New England who, to wrest Kan- 
sas from slavery, went thither to build their cabins, 
thus braving a fearful struggle, not only with the 
slaveholders, but with the President, his illegal 
measures, and the troops charged with maintaiuing 
them ? 

We must fight to conquer. This 'seems little 
understood by those vdio reproach abolitionism 
with having been a party militant ; to hear them, 
the true way of bringing about the abolition of 
slavery was to let it alone : to attack was to exas- 
perate it. 

This argument is so imfortunate as to be em- 
ployed in all bad causes. I remember that when 
measures were taken against the slave trade, we 
were told that the sufferings of the slaves would be 
thus increased, and that the slavers would be exas- 
peratecL Later, when we held uj) to the indigna- 
tion of the whole world the Protestant intolerance 
of Sweden, we were assured that these public de- 
nunciations would put back the question instead 



WHAT THE KLECTION OF ME. LIXCOLX SIGNIFIES. 41 



of accelerating it. "Wc persevered, and ttc did 
rightly. Sweden is advancing, though at too slow 
a pace, towards religious liberty. It vrould be 
difficult to cite any social iniquities that have re- 
formed of themselves ; and, since the existence of 
the world, the method which consists in attacking 
evil has been the one sanctioned by success. In 
America itself, the progress made by the border 
States does not seem to confirm what is told us of 
the reaction caused by the aggressions of abolition- 
ism. In Virginia, in Kentucky, in Missouri, in 
Delaware, etc., the liberty jDarty has been continu- 
ally gaining ground ; and the votes received in the 
slave States by Mr. Lincoln prove it a very great 
mistake to suppose letting alone to be the condition 
of progress. "Would to God that slavery had not 
been let alone when the republic of the iTnitcd 
States was founded ! Then, abolition was easy, the 
slaves were few in number, and no really formida- 
ble antagonism was in play. Unhappily, false 
prudence made itself heard : it was resolved to keep 
silence, and not to deprive the South of the honor 
of a voluntary emancipation — in fine, to reserve 
the question for the future. The future has bent 
under the weight of a task which has continued to 
increase with years, thanks to letting it alone. 



42 WHAT THE ELECTION OF MK. LINCOLN SIGNIFIES. 

A little more letting alone, and tlie weight 
would have crushed America ; it was time to act. 
The Abolition party, or rather the party opposed 
to the extension of slavery, has acted with a reso- 
lution which should excite our sympathies. The 
future of the United States was at stake ; it knew 
it, and it struggled in consequence. Eememher 
the efforts essayed four years ago for the elec- 
tion of Mr. Fremont, efforts which would have 
succeeded perhaps, if Mr. Fremont had not been a 
Catholic. Eemember those three months of ballot- 
ing, by which the North succeeded in carrying the 
election of speaker of the House of Eepresentatives. 
Eemember the conduct of the North, in the sad 
affair of John Brown, its refusal to approve an ille- 
gal act, its admiration of the heroic farmer who 
died after having witnessed the death of his sons. 
On seeing the public mourning of tlie Free States, 
on hearing the minute gun discharged in the capi- 
tal of the State of New York on the day of execu- 
tion, one might have foreseen the irresistible im- 
pulse which has just ended in the triumph of Mr. 
Lincoln. 

The indignation against slavery, the love of 
country and of its compromised honor, the just 
susceptibilities of the North, the liberal instincts so 



WHAT THE ELECTION OF MR. LINCOLN SIGNIFIES. 43 

long repressed, the desire of elevating the debased 
and corrupt institutions of the land, the need of 
escaping insane projects, the powerful impulse of 
the Christian faith, all these sentiments contributed, 
without doubt, to swell the resistance against wdiich 
the supremacy of the South has just been broken. 
This, then, is a legal victory, one of the most glorious 
spectacles that tlie friends of liberty can contem- 
plate on earth. It was the more glorious, the more 
efforts and sacrifices it demanded. The Lincoln 
party had opposed to it, the Puseyistic and finan- 
cial aristocracy of New Yo]*k ; the manœuvres of 
President Buchanan were imited a^rainst it w^ith 

o 

those of the Southern States. Many of the K'orth- 
ern journals accused it of treading under foot the 
interests of the seaports, and of compromising the 
sacred cause of the Union. 

To succeed in electing Mr. Lincoln, w^e must not 
forget that it w^as necessary to put the question of 
principle above the questions of immediate inter- 
ests, which usually make themselves heard so dis- 
tinctly. The unity, the greatness of the country, 
the gigantic future towards wdiich it was advan- 
cing, were so many obstacles arising in the way. 
Then came the reckoning of profits and losses, the 
inevitable crisis, the Southern orders already with- 



44 -SynAT THE ELECTIOX OF MR. LI^XOLN SIGNIFIES. 

drawn, tlic certain loss of money ; it seems to me 
tliat men vrho have Lravcd such chances, have 
nobly accomplished their duty. 

America, it is said, is the country of the dollar ; 
the Americans think only of making money, all 
other considerations are subordinate to this. If the 
reproach is sometimes well-founded, we must admit, 
at least, that it is not always so. Those who wish 
to persuade us that the Abolitionists in this again 
have simply sought their own interests, by seeking 
to break down the competition of servile labor, 
forget two or three things : first, that the slaves 
produce tobacco or cotton, while the Xorth pro- 
duces wheat, so that there is not a race in the 
world that competes less with it : next, that the 
cotton of the South is very useful to the Xorth, 
useful to its manufactures, useful to its trade, both 
transit and commission. Tlie people of tlie Xorth 
are not reputed to lack foresight ; they were not 
ignorant that in electing Mr. Lincoln, they had, 
for the time at least, every thing to lose and nothing 
to gain ; they were not ignorant that Mr. Lincoln 
occasioned the immediate threat of secession ; that 
the threat of secession was a commercial ^crisis, was 
the political weakening of the country, and the un- 
settling of many fortunes. But neither were they 



WHAT THE ELECTION OF MPw. LINCOLN SIGNIFIES. 45 

ignorant that above tlie fleeting interests of indi- 
viduals and of the nation, arose those permanent 
interests which must rest only on justice ; they 
decided, cost what it might, to wrest themselves 
from the detestable, and ere long fatal allurements 
of the slavery policy. 

Let us beware how we calumniate, without 
intending it, the few generous impulses which 
break out here and there among mankind. I know 
that there is a would-be prudent skepticism which 
attacks all moral greatness that it may depreciate 
it, all enthusiasm that it may translate it into 
calculation. To admire nothing is most deplorable, 
and, I hasten to add, most absurd. Without wan- 
dering from the subject of slavery, I can cite the 
great Emancipation Act, wrested from Parliament 
by Christian public opinion in England. Have not 
means been found to prove, or at least to insinuate, 
that this act, the most glorious of our century, was 
at the bottom nothing but a Machiavellian combi- 
nation of interests ? Doubtless, those who have 
taken the trouble to look over the debates of the 
times know what we are to think of this line expla- 
nation ; they know what resistance was opposed by 
•interests to the emancipation, both in the colonies 
and in the heart of the metropolis ; they know with 



46 WHAT THE ELECTION OF MR. LINCOLN SIGNIFIES. 



how iTiiicli oLstinacy the Tones, representing the 
traditions of English jDolitics, combated the pro- 
posed plans ; they know in what terms the certain 
ruin of the planters, the manufactures, and the sea- 
ports, was described ; they know by how many 
petitions the churches, the religious societies, the 
women, and even the children, succeeded in wrest- 
ing from Parliament a measure refused by so many 
statesmen. But the mass of the people do not go 
back to the beginning ; they take for granted the 
summary judgment that English emancipation was 
a master-piece of perûdy. 

We hear very nearly the same thing said of that 
glorious movement which has just taken place in 
America. We would gladly detect all mxotives in it 
except one that is generous and Christian. As if a 
vulgar calculation of interest would not have dic- 
tated a contrary course ! And it is precisely this 
that makes the greatness of the resolution adopted 
by the North. It knew all the consequences ; they 
had been announced by the South, recapitulated 
by prudent men, stated in detail by the newspapers 
of great commercial cities ; it chose to be just. 
Despite the inevitable mingling of base and self- 
ish impulses, which always become complicated 
in such manifestations, the ruling motive in this 



WHAT THE ELECTION OF MK. LIXCOLN SIGNIFIES. 47 ' 

was a protest of consciencej and of the spirit of 
liberty. 

Tlie accounts that have come to lis from Amer- 
ica demonstrate the loftj character of the joy which 
was manifested after the election. ]\Ien shook hands 
with each other in the streets ; they congratulated 
each other on having a,t last escaped from the yoke 
of an ignoble policy ; they felt as though relieved 
from a weight ; they breathed more freely ; the true, 
the noble destinies of the United States reappeared 
on the horizon, they saluted a future that should be 
better than the present, a future worthy of their 
sires, those early pilgrims who, carryiDg nothing 
with them but their Bibles, had laid the foundation 
of a free country with poor but valiant hands. 

I should like to quote here the sermon in which 
the Eev. Mr. Beecher poured out his Christian joy 
at that time. He spoke of the strength of the weak ; 
he showed that principles, however despised they 
may be, end by revenging themselves on interests ; 
he recalled the fact that the Gospel is a pov>'er in 
America. To rise up, to attack its enemy manfully, 
to arraign the causes of the national decline, to ap- 
proach boldly the solution of the most formidable 
problem which could be propounded here on earth, 
such is not the act of a nation of calculators. Some- 



48 WHAT THE ELECTION OF MP.. LINCOLN SIGNIFIES. 



tiling else is implied in it than tactics, some- 
tliing else than combinations of votes or sectional 
rivalries. To vote as they did, they had to over- 
come almost as many obstacles in the Xorth as 
in the South ; for, in consequence of the vote, 
the JSTorth had to suffer like the South, and they 
knew it. 

If you wish to be just to the United States, 
compare them v^itli other countries in which slavery 
exists. In the United States there is a struggle ; the 
question is a living one ; men do not turn aside from 
it with lax indifference. I love the noise of free na- 
tions ; I find in the very violence of their debates a 
proof of the earnestness of convictions. Men must 
become excited about great social j)roblems ; if 
abuses exist, they must, at least, be pointed out, at- 
tacked, and stigmatized ; the prescription of silence 
must never be accorded them ; devoted voices must 
exclaim against them, unceasingly, in the name of 
justice and of humanity. Such a spectacle does 
good to the soul ; it solaces the sorrows of the pres- 
ent, it carries within itself guarantees for the future. 

Tlie sad, profoundly sad, spectacle, is that of na- 
tions where crimes make no noise. Look at Brazil. 
Like the United States, it has slavery, but it is an 
honorable, discreet slavery, of which nothing is said. 



WHAT THE ELECTION OF ME. LINCOLN SIGNIFIES. 49 

Whatever may liappen there, no one inquires about 
it ; there are no discussions, either through the press 
or in the courts. 'No party would dare insert such a 
question into its platform. One thing, very prop- 
erly, has been found to distui'b it, and the public 
sale of slaves has just been forbidden. 

Look, above all, at Spain and its island of Cuba. 
There, too, is perfect silence. Nothing, in truth, 
opposes the belief that Cuba is the abode of felicity, 
and that the atrocities of slavery are the monopoly 
of the United States. But inquisitive people, who 
like to search to the bottom of things, discover that if 
the masters are very gentle at Havana, the overseers 
are scarcely so on their account on the plantations ; 
I have already given the proof of it. Oat of ten 
slavers that are seized on the high seas, nine are 
always destined to Cuba. Spain has forbidden the 
slave trade ; she has even been compensated for it 
by the English ; but this does not prevent her from 
suffering it to be carried on before her eyes with 
almost absolute impunity. Her high-sounding 
phrases change nothing ; the smallest fact is of more 
value. At Cuba, the landing of slaves is continual, 
and the places of disembarkation are known. Now, 
the American flag protects no one at the time of 
disembarking. Why is no opposition made to this? 
3 



50 WHAT THE ELECTION OF MK. LINCOLN SIGNIFIES. 

Why lias the importation of negroes tripled in Cu- 
ba ? Why does no slaver, American or any other, 
steer towards Brazil, since Brazil has desired to put 
an end to the slave trade ? The answer to these 
questions will be given us on the day when Spain 
shall desire^ in turn, to suppress it. In the mean 
time she prefers to keep silence, unless when a word 
from London strikes out a concert of protestations 
more patriotic than convincing ; save in this case, 
the government is silent, public opinion is silent, no 
colonial sheet is found ready to hazard an objection, 
nor even a metropolitan journal that is willing to 
disturb so touching an equanimity. The court of 
Madrid, in which many questions are agitated, pru- 
dently stands aloof in the matter of slavery and the 
slave trade ; among the numerous parties disputing 
for power, not one dares venture on a ground where 
it would meet nothing but unpopularity. Ah ! af- 
ter this death-like silence, how the soul is refreshed 
by the fiery contests of the United States, the great 
word-combats carried on in every village of the 
Union, the appeals addressed to the conscience, the 
battle in broad daylight ! How refreshing to see 
by the side of these nations, who sleep so tranquilly, 
while regarding the inroads of slavery, a people 



AVHAT THE ELECTION OF MR. LINCOLN SIGNIFIES. 51 

whom it disquiets, wliom it irritates, who refuse to 
take part in it, and who, rather than conform to the 
evil, agitate, become divided, and rend themselves 
perchance with their own hands ! 



52 



WHAT WE ARE TO THINK 



CHAPTEE IV. 

WHAT WE AEE TO THINK OF THE UNITED STATES. 

We are not just towards tlie United States. Their 
civilization, so different from ours, wounds us in 
various ways, and we turn from tliem in the ill-hu- 
mor excited by their real defects, without taking 
note enough of their eminent qualities. This coun- 
try, which possesses neither church, nor State, nor 
army, nor governmental protection ; this country, 
born yesterday, and born under a Puritanic influ- 
ence; this country, without past history, without 
monuments, separated from the Middle Ages by tlie 
double interval of centuries and beliefs ; this rude 
country of farmers and pioneers, has nothing fitted 
to please us. It has the exuberant life and the ec- 
centricities of youth ; that is, it affords to our ma- 
ture experience inexhaustible subjects of blame and 
raillery. 

We are are so little inclined to admire it, that 



OF THE UNITED STATES. 



53 



we seek in its territorial configuration for the es- 
sential explanation of its success. Is it so difficult to 
maintain good order and liberty at home when one 
has immense deserts to people, when land oflFers it- 
self without stint to the labor of man ? — I do not 
see, for my part, that land is lacking at Buenos 
Ayres, at Montevideo, in Mexico, or in any of the 
pronunciamento republics that cover South America. 
It seems to me that the Turks have room before 
them, and that the Middle Ages were not suffering 
precisely from an excess of population when they 
presented everywhere the spectacle of anarchy and 
oppression. 

Be sure that the United States, which have 
something to learn of us, have also something to 
teach us. Theirs is a great community, which it 
does not become us to pass by in disdain. The 
more it differs from our own Europe, the more ne- 
cessary is impartial attention to comprehend and ap- 
preciate it. Especially is it impossible for us to 
form an enlightened opinion of the present crisis, 
unless we begin by taking into consideration the 
surroundings in which it has broken out. The na- 
ture of the struggle and its probable issue, the diffi- 
culties of the present, and the chances of the future, 
will be clear to us only on condition of our making 



54 ^VIIAT AVE AKE TO TIIIXE: 

a study of the United States. A few details will, 
therefore, be permitted me. 

Among tlie Yankees, the faults are on the sur- 
face. I am not one to justify Lynch law, whatever 
may be the necessities which exist in the Far AYest. 
Eiots in the United States are cited which have 
performed their work of fire and devastation, and 
which no one has dared treat rigorously afterwards, 
for fear of incurring disgrace from the soTereign 
people ; but I remember, I fancy, that similar things 
have been seen in Paris itself. We will not, there- 
fore, lay too great stress on them. 

One thing that is not seen in Paris, is, unhap- 
pily, remarked in America : the general tendency 
among women to substitute masculine qualities 
which scarcely befit them, for the feminine qualities 
which constitute their grace, their strength, and 
their dignity ; thence results a certain something un- 
j)leasant and rude which does no credit to the Xew 
World. I by no means admire coarseness, and I 
do not admit that it is the necessary companion of 
energy ; the tone of the journals and of the debates 
in Congress is often calculated to excite a just re- 
probation. There is in the United States a level- 
ling spirit, a jealousy of acquired superiority, and, 
above all, of inherited distinctions, which pro- 



OF THE UNITED STATES. 



55 



ceeds from the worst sentiments of the heart. What 
is graver still, the tender and gentle side of the hu- 
man soul, such as shines forth in the Gospel, ap- 
pears too rarely among this people, where the Gos- 
pel, notwithstanding, is in honor, but where the 
labor of a gigantic growth has developed the active 
instead of the loving virtues ; the Americans are 
cold even when good, charitable and devout. 

They may love money, and often concentrate 
their thoughts on the means of making it ; I will 
not contest this, although I doubt, on seeing what 
passes among ourselves, whether we have the right 
to cast the stone at them ; especially as American 
liberality, as I shall presently show, is of a nature 
to put our parsimony to shame. As to the 
bankrupt acts, of which American creditors have 
many tini^es complained, nothing can justify them; 
yet here again the rôle of pedagogue scarcely 
becomes us. If more than one American railroad 
company have taken advantage of a crisis to declare 
without much dishonor, a suspension of payment, 
it is not proved that these suspensions of payment 
must be converted into bankruptcy. If more than 
one town or more than one county make the half 
yearly payments of their debts with reluctance, the 
courts always do fair justice on this ill will ; there 



56 



WHAT WE AKE TO THINK 



are some countries, Russia, for instance, where tlie 
courts do not do as much. If, in fine, at one time, 
a number of States failed to keep their engagements, 
and a single one dared proclaim the infamous doc- 
trine of repudiation, all have since paid, the last- 
named included. Once more, are we sure of being 
in a position to reprove such misdeeds ; we, w^hose 
governments, anterior to '89, made use, without 
much scruple, of the fall of stocks and bankruptcies ; 
we, whose debt, on emerging from the Revolution, 
took the significant name of tiers consolidé? 

Let us not forget that the pof)ulation of the 
United States has increased tenfold since the close 
of the last century ; they have received immigrants 
annually, by hundreds of thousands, w^lio have not 
ahvays been the elite of the Old World. Must not 
this perpetual invasion of strangers promptly trans- 
formed into citizens, have necessarily introduced 
into the decision of public afi*airs some elements of 
immorality ? I admire the honorable and religious 
spirit of the Americans w^iich has been able to as- 
similate and rule to such a degree these great masses 
of Irish and Germans. Few countries would have 
endured a like ordeal as wxll. 

Remark that, in spite of all, public order is 
maintained without paid troops, (Continental Eu- 



OF THE UNITED STATES. 



57 



rope will find it hard to credit this.) Tranquillity 
reigns in the largest cities of the United States; 
respect for the law is in every heart ; great ballot- 
ings take place, millions of excited men await the 
result with trembling ; yet, notwithstanding, not 
an act of violence is committed. American riots 
— for some there are— are certainlj^ less numerous 
than ours ; and they have the merit of not being 
transformed into revolutions. 

The greater part of the emigrants remain, of 
course, in the large cities ; here they come almost 
to make the laws, and here, too, noble causes en- 
counter the most opponents. Mr. Lincoln, to cite 
an example, received only a minority of suffrages 
in the city of New York, whilst the unanimity of 
the country suffrages secured him the vote of the 
State. Contempt of the colored class, that crime 
of the North, breaks out most of all in the large 
cities, and particularly among agglomerations of 
emigrants ; none are harsher to free negroes, it 
must be admitted, than newly-landed Europeans 
who have come to seek a fortune in America. 

As to crimes, they are numerous only in cities ; 
still the criminal records of the United States ap- 
pear somewhat full when compared with ours. " I 

know how great a part of this must be assigned to 
3* 



58 



WHAT WE AEE TO THINK 



tlie insufliciency of repression ; in America, crimi- 
nals doubtless escape pmiisliment much oftener 
than among us. Notwithstanding, there is real se- 
curity ; and a child might travel over the entire 
Vf est without being exposed to the slightest danger. 

M. de Tocquevillc has said that morals are inii- 
nitely more rigid in ISTorth America than elsewhere. 
This is not, it seems to me, a trifling , advantage. 
Whatever may be the depravity of the seaports, 
where the whole world holds rendezvous, it remains 
certain that it does not penetrate into the interior 
of the country. Open the journals and novels 
of the United States ; you will not find a cor- 
rupt page in them. You might leave them all on 
the drawing-room table, without fearing to call a 
blush to the brow of a woman, or to sully the im- 
agination of a child. 

In the heart of the manufacturing States, model 
villages are found, in which every thing is com- 
bined to protect the artisans of both sexes from the 
perils that await them in other countries. "Who 
has not heard of the town of Lowell, where farm- 
ers' daughters go to earn their dowry, where the 
labor of the factories brings no dissipation m its 
train, where the Vv^orkwomen read, write, teach 
Sunday-schools, where their morality detracts noth- 



OF THE UNITED STATES. 



59 



ing from tlieir liberty and progress ? When I have 
added that the United States have not a single 
foundling asylum, it seems to me that I have indi- 
cated what we are to think at once of their good 
morals and good sense. 

And let not the Americans be represented as a 
people at once honest and narrow-minded. If they 
are still far from our level — and this must neces- 
sarily be true, in an artistic and literary point of 
view — we are not, however, at liberty to despise a 
country which counts such names as Hawthorne, 
Longfellow, Emerson, Cooper, Marry att, Poe,'Wash- 
ington Irving, Channing, Prescott, Motley, and 
Bancroft. Note that among these names, men of 
imagination hold a prominent place, which proves, 
we may say in passing, that the country where we 
oftenest hear the exclamation, " Of what use is it ? " 
agrees in finding poetry of some use. And I speak 
here neither of orators, like Mr. Seward or Mr. 
Douglas, nor of scholars, like Lieutenant Maury, 
nor of those who, like Fulton or Morse, have ap- 
plied science to art : judgment has been passed on 
all these points. 

But the true superiority of Americans is in the 
universality of common instruction. The Puritans, 
who came hither with their Bibles, were of neces- 



60 



WHAT AVE ARE TO THIKK 



sity zealous founders of scliools ; the Bible and the 
school go together. See, therefore, what the schools 
are in the United States ! The State of Massachu- 
setts alone, which does not number a million of 
souls, devotes five millions yearly to its public in- 
struction. If other States are far from equalling 
it in academies aud higher institutions, all are on 
a level with it as regards primary schools ; a man 
or woman, therefore, is rarely found outside the 
class of immigrants, who does not possess a solid 
knowledge of the elementary sciences, the extent 
of which w^ould excite our surprise. By the side 
of the primary school, and to complete its instnic- 
tion in the religious point of view, the Americans 
have everywhere opened Sunday-schools, kept gra- 
tuitously by volunteer teachers, among whom have 
figured many men of the highest standing, several 
of whom have been Presidents of the Confedera- 
tion. These Sunday-schools, not less than twenty 
thousand in number, and superintended by one 
hundred and fifty thousand teachers, count more 
than a million of pupils, of which ten thousand at 
least are adults. Calculate the power of such an 
instrument ! 

People read enormously in America. There is 
a library in the meanest cabin of roughly-hewn 



OF THE UNITED STATES. 



61 



logs, constructed hy the pioneers of the "West. 
These poor log-houses almost ahvays contain a 
Bible, often journals, instructiv^e books, sometimes 
even poetry. We in Europe, who fancy ourselves 
fine amateurs of good verses, would scarcely imag- 
ine that copies of Longfellow are scattered among 
Ajnerican husbandmen. The political journals have 
many subscribers ; those of the religious papers are 
no less numerous. I know of a monthly journal 
designed for children, (the Child^s Paper^) of which 
three hundred thousand copies are printed. This 
is the intellectual aliment of the country. In the 
towns, lectures are added to books, journals, and 
reviews : in all imaginable subjects, this commu- 
nity, which the Government does not charge itself 
with instructing, (at least, beyond the primaty edu- 
cation,) educates and develops itself with indefat- 
igable ardor. Ideas are agitated in the smallest 
market-town ; life is everywhere. 

Accustomed to act for themselves, knowing that 
they cannot count on the administrative patronage 
of the State, the Americans excel in bringing indi- 
vidual energies into action. There are few func- 
tionaries, few soldiers, and few taxes among them. 
They know nothing, like us, of that malady of 
public functions, the violence of which increases in 



62 



WIIAT WE AFwE TO THIN'K 



proportion as we advance. They know nothing of 
those enormous imposts under which Euroj^e is 
bending by degrees — those taxes which ahnost sup- 
press property by overburdening its transmission ; 
they have not come to the point of finding it very 
natural to devote one or two millions every year to 
the expenses of the State, and no theory has been 
formed to prove to them that of all the expenses of 
the citizens, this is applied to the best jDurjDose. 
They have not entered with the Old W^orld into that 
rivalry of armaments in which each nation, though 
it become exhausted in the effort, is bound to keep 
on a level with its neighbors, and in which no one 
will be stronger in the end when the whole world 
shall be subjugated. Their ten thousand regulars 
suflBce, and they have their militia for extraordinary 
occasions. Lastly, their Federal debt is insignifi- 
cant ; and, if the private debts of a few States 
reach a high figm^e, they are nowhere of a nature 
to impose cn the tax-payers a large surplus of 
charges. 

All of the great liberties exist in the United 
States : liberty of the press, liberty of speech, right 
of assemblage, right of association. Except in the 
slave States, where the national institutions have 
been subjected to deplorable mutilations in fact, 



OF THE UmXED STATES. 



63 



every citizen can express liis opinion and maintain, 
it openly, withont meeting any other obstacle than 
the contrary opinion, which is expressed with equal 
freedom. 

But there is one ground above all where wo 
should acknowledge the superiority of America : I 
mean, religious liberty. We are still in the beginning 
of doubts upon the point as to where the interfer- 
ence of the State should cease ; in what measure 
it should govern the belief of the citizens, and its 
manifestation. These questions, alas, are still pro- 
pounded among us. And there are countries at 
our doors, where men shudder at the mere idea 
that the law may some day cease to decide for each 
in what manner he is bound to worship God, that 
the courts may cease to punish those whose con- 
science turns aside from the path of the nation. 
Protestant Sweden but lately condemned dissenters 
to fine and imprisonment ; Catholic Spain daily 
inflicts the severest penalties on those who suffer 
themselves to profess or to propagate beliefs which 
are not those of the country — those who sell the 
Scriptures, and those who read them. 

Tlie United States have not only proclaimed 
and loyally carried out the glorious principle of 
religious liberty, but have adopted as a corollary 



64 



WHAT WE ARE TO THINK 



another principle, miicli more contested among ns, 
but wliicli I believe destined also to make tlie tour 
of the world : the principle of separation of Church 
and State. That believers should support their 
own w^orsliip, that religious and political questions 
should never be blended, that the two provinces 
should remain distinct, is a simple idea which seems 
most strange to us to-day. It will make its way 
like all other true ideas, which begin as paradoxes 
and end by becoming axioms. Meanwhile, the 
American Confederation enjoys an advantage which 
more than one European government, I suspect, 
would at some moments purchase at a high price : 
it has not to trouble itself about religious interests, 
either in its action without or its administration 
within. If there are conflicts everywhere in the 
spiritual order, it leaves them to struggle and be- 
come resolved in the spiritual order, without need- 
ino; to trouble itself in the matter. Hence arises 
for the State a freedom of bearing, a simplicit}^ of 
conduct, which we, who have to steer adroitly 
through so many dangers, can hardly comprehend. 
The American government is sure of never offend- 
ing any church — it knows none ; it does not inter- 
fere either to combat or to aid them ; it has re- 



OF THE UNITED STATES. 



65 



noiinced, once for all, intervention in tlic domain 
of conscience. 

The result, doubtless, is, tliat tliis domain is not 
so well ordered as in Europe ; tlio administrative 
ecclesiastical state lias by no means submitted to 
such regulation. Is that to say that this inconve- 
nience (if it be one) is not largely compensated for 
by its advantages ? Is it nothing to suppress inherit- 
ance in religious matters, and to force each soul to 
question itself as to what it believes ? In the United 
States, adhesion to a church is an individual, sponta- 
neous act, resulting from a voluntary determination. 
This is so true that four-fifths of the inhabitants of 
the country do not bear the title of church members. 
Although attending worship, although manifesting 
an interest and zeal in the subject to which we are 
little accustomed, although assiduous church-goers, 
and liberal givers, they have not yet felt within 
themselves a conviction strong and clear enough to 
make a public profession of faith. Think what we 
may of such a system, we must avow, at least, that 
it implies a profound respect for sacred things ; 
nothing can less resemble that indolent and formal 
assent which we give, in conformity with custom, 
and without binding ourselves, in earnest, to the re- 
ligion that prevails among us. 



66 



WHAT AVE ARE TO THINK 



Hence arises something valiant in American con- 
victions. Hence arises also, it may be said, that 
dispersion of sects, the pictm^c of which is so often 
drawn for ns. I am far from loving the spirit of 
sectarianism, and I am careful not to present the 
American churches as the beau ideal in religious 
matters. The sectarian spirit, the fundamental trait 
of wliich is to confound unity with uniformity, to 
transform divergencies into separations, to refuse to 
admit into the bosom of the church the element of 
diversity and of liberty ; to exact the signing of a 
theological formula, and the formal adhesion as a 
whole to a collection of dogmas and practices, with- 
■ out tolerating the slightest shade of difference — the 
sectarian spirit, with its narrowness, with its tradi- 
tions of men, with its exaggeration of little things, 
with its separate denominations, is certainly not 
worthy of admiration. I reject it in America as 
elsewhere, but I think it well to state that the re- 
ligious disruption produced by it has been much 
exaggerated. We must greatly abbreviate the for- 
midable list of churches furnished us by traveh 
lers. Putting aside those which have no value, 
either as to influence or numbers, we reduce the 
numbers of denominations existing in the United 
States, outside the Roman Catholic church, to five, 



OF THE UNITED STATES, 



67 



(and tlicse are too many ;) namely : Methodist, 
Baptist, Congregational, Episcopal, and Presbyte- 
rian. The remainder is composed of small eccentric 
congregations wliich spring up and die, and of 
which no one takes heed, except a few tourists, who 
are always willing to note down extraordinary facts. 

We will add that the sectarian spirit is now 
attacked in America, and that the essential unity 
which binds the members of the five denominations 
together, in spite of some external difterences, is 
manifesting itself forcibly. Xot only does the evan- 
gelical alliance prove to the most sceptical that this 
unity is real, but a fact peculiar to the United 
States, the great awakening produced by the crisis 
of 1857, has given evidence of the perfect harmony 
of convictions. In the innumerable meetings 
caused to sj)ring up by this awakening from one 
end of the country to the other, it has been impos- 
sible to distinguish Baptists, Presbyterians, or Con- 
gregationalists from each other. All have been 
there, and no one has betrayed by the least shade 
of dogmatism those self-styled profound divisions 
about which so much noise is made. I invite those 
still in doubt to look at the manner in which public 
worship is established in the TTest : as soon as a few 
men have formed a settlement, a missionary comes 



68 



-SVHAT WE AEE TO THIXK 



to visit them ; no one inquires about liis denom- 
ination, for the Bible that he brings is the Bible 
of all, and the salvation, through Christ, which he 
proclaims, is the faith of all. It suffices, besides, to 
see this entire people, so restless, so laborious, leav- 
ing its business on Sunday to occupy itself with the 
thoughts of another life ; it suffices to observe the 
unanimous uprising of the public conscience at the 
rumor of an attack directed against the Gospel, to 
perceive that unity subsists beneath lamentable di- 
visions, and that individual conviction creates the 
most active of all cohesive powers in the heart of 
human communities ; I know of no cement that 
equals it. 

If individual convictions are a strong bond, thev 
are also an inexhaustible source of life. It is easy 
to assure ourselves of this by a brief survey of the 
proofs of Christian liberality which are displayed in 
the United States. Here, there is no legal charity, 
no aid to be expected from the government, either 
for the support of churches, or for that of the sick 
and poor ; the volimtary system must suffice for all. 
And, in fact, it does suffice for all. 

^Vhat is the first thing in question ? To collect 
thirty millions annually for the payment of the 
clergy. Tl:ie tliirty millions are furnished : poor 



OF THE UNITED STATES, 



69 



and rich, all give eagerly, and without compnlsion. 
The next thing in question is to provide for the con- 
struction of new churches ; now, it is necessary to 
finish not less than three of these daily, for the 
clearing of the forests advances with rapid strides, 
and a thousand churches, at least, are built every 
year. The majority of these churches are doubtless 
composed of beams laid one upon another, then 
painted white, or left of the natural color, and sur- 
mounted by a bell ; they are simple and inexpen- 
sive, and, in the infant villages, the streets of which 
are still blocked up by trees left standing, the place, 
serving at once for a church and a school, where the 
people gather round an itinerant preacher, is not 
decorated with much sumptuousness ; yet these new 
edifices demand annually from twelve to fifteen 
millions. 

Next come the religious societies. In the "West, 
preachers are needed, hardy laborers, who live in 
privations, traversing vast solitudes on horseback, 
and journeying continually, without repose, until 
their strength is exhausted. Eis-ht hundred mission- 
aries or agents are required for the American Board 
of Missions, for the Presbyterians, the Baptists, and 
all the other churches. iSTow, they cannot send 
them to the four quarters of the globe without pro- 



70 



AVHAT V:E A1ΠTO THLN'K 



viding for tlieir wants. The Bible Society, wliich 
prints three linndred thousand Bibles annually, the 
Religious Tract Society, which publishes every year 
five millions of tracts, and which, in Xew York 
alone, employs a thousand visitors or distributors ; 
the various works, in a word, expend from nine to 
ten millions. 

Such, then, is the budget of voluntary charity 
in the United States. It amounts to fifty or sixty 
millions, without counting the very considerable 
donations destined to public instruction ; without 
counting (and this is immense) the relief of the sick 
and the poor. You will scarcely find a \illage in 
the whole United States that has not its benevolent 
society, and private benevolence, which is the best, 
also carries on its work, independently of societies. I 
know of no coimtry where acts of profuse liberality 
are more frequent ; one man founds a hospital, an- 
other an observatory. Asylums are opened for all 
human unfortunates, for lunatics, the blind, the deaf, 
orphans, abandoned children. 

Was I not right in saying that this is a great 
people ? "Whatever may be its vices, we are not at 
liberty to speak of it with disdain. If the Ameri- 
cans know how to make a fortune, they know, also, 
how to make a noble use of their fortune ; accused 



OF THE L'^'ITED STATES 



71 



with reason, as they are, of being too often preoc- 
cupied with questions of profit, we have seen them 
retrenchins: much of their luxury since the commer- 
cial crisis, yet economizing very little in their char- 
ities. The budget of the churches and religious so- 
cieties remained intact at the very time that embar- 
rassment was everywhere prevailing. I cannot help 
believing that there are peculiar blessings attached 
to so many voluntary sacrifices which carry back 
the mind to the earlv ao^es of Christianitv. TTe 
may be Gure that the religion that costs something, 
brings something also in return. 



T2 



THE CHUKCHES AND SLAVEEY. 



CHAPTEE Y. 

THE CHURCHES AND SLAVERY. 

This leads me to examine a side of tlie American 
question upon wliicli attention is naturally fixed at 
the present time ; how is it that the iniquities of 
slavery are maintained among this charitable and 
liberal people ? how is it that such iniquities have 
subsisted under the influence of so powerful a 
Christian sentiment ? Can it be true that Christians 
have deserted the cause of justice ? Has the Gos- 
pel had the place which belongs to it, in the great 
struggle that is going on between the ISTorth and the 
South ? yes ; or no. This is perhaps the point of 
all others most important to clear up ; first, because 
it is the one on which the most errors have accumu- 
lated ; next, because it is the one most closely con- 
nected with the final solution ; for this solution will 
not be happy, if the Gospel has no hand in it. 

To judge rightly, let us approach and endeavor 



THE CHUKCHES AND SLAVERY. 



73 



to comprehend the true position of those whose con- 
duct we seek to appreciate. See the South, for 
example, where the ahnost universal opinion is fa- 
vorable to slavery, where governors write ditliyram- 
bics on its benefits, where many Christians have 
succeeded in discovering that it is sanctioned by the 
Gospel, where men of sincerity are now placing 
their impious crusades in behalf of its extension un- 
der the protection of God, where numerous preach- 
ers expound in their own way the celebrated text 
" Cursed be Canaan ! " Do not these sentiments of 
the South, detestable as they are, find, to a certain 
point, their explanation and excuse in the circum- 
stances in which the South is placed ? 

The power of surroundings is incalculable. 
If we ourselves, who condemn slavery, and are 
right in so doing, had been reared in Charleston ; 
if we had led a planter's life from our earliest in- 
fancy ; if we had nourished our minds with their 
ideas ; if we considered our monetary interests men- 
aced by Abolitionism ; if the image of more fearful 
perils, of violent destructions and massacres, ap- 
peared to haunt our thoughts ; if the political an- 
tagonism between the North and the South came 
to add its venom to the passions already excited 
within us, is it certain that we ourselves should not 
4 



74 



THE cnmcHES and slavepwY. 



be figuring at the present time among the despera- 
does who are firing upon the ships of the Union, 
and attempting the foundation of a Southern Con- 
federacy ? 

It is vrell to ask this of ourselves, in order to 
learn to respect, to love, and consequently to aid 
those whose conduct we blame the most strongly. 
For my part, whenever I am tempted to set myself 
up as a judge or an accuser of the South, I ask my- 
self what I should do if I belonged to the South, 
and this brings me back to the true position. I 
remember, too, what I saw, with my own eyes, at 
the time when the discussion on slavery was carried 
on in France ; the colonial passions, the blindest 
and most violent of all, broke out in Martinique 
and the isle of Bourbon, as they had broken out be- 
fore in Jamaica, where the circulars of Mr. Canning, 
the proposition, for example, to suppress the flagel- 
lation of women, had excited a veritable explosion. 
There were some very honorable men among those 
who were indignant at this measure ; and, among 
us, likewise, the planters who determined to com- 
bat all modification of the negro system, were good 
men. Severity is almost always a defect of mem- 
ory ; we blame others without pity, only when we 
begin by forgetting our own history. Wo French- 



THE CnUECIIES AND SLAVERY. 



75 



men, wlio had so miicli difficulty in emancipating 
our own slaves, and vlio would not, perhaps, have 
succeeded in it, had it not been for the bold deci- 
sion of M. Schoelclier ; vre, who have sought to take 
bach, in part, througli our colonial regulations, the 
liberty accorded the blacks ; we, who suliered rc- 
cruitals by purchaso to bo made on the African 
coast ; wdio formerly organized the expedition 
charged vrith re-establishing slavery and the slave 
trade at St. Domingo ; who suppressed the slave 
trade at the Congress of Vienna only in stipulat- 
ing its continuance for some years ; who carried 
into our discussions on the right of search, a very 
meagre interest for tlic victims of the slavers ; we, 
whose consciences are burdened witii these mis- 
deeds, are bound to use indulgence towards the 
States of the South. 

Tliis remark was necessary : it is from the 
South that the Biblical theories in favor of slavery 
proceed ; it is on account of the South that these 
theories have been adopted by certain Christians of 
the Xorth, desirous, above every thing, of avoiding 
both the dismemberment of the United States, and 
that of the churches and religious societies. Take 
away the South, and no one in America, any more 
than in Europe, will dream of discovering in the 



76 



THE CIlUKCnES Ai;rD 6LAVEKY. 



Gospel tlio divine appî^obatioii of the atrocities of 
slavery. 

I comprelieiicl better than most, the sentiment 
of indignation tliat is caused by these deplorable 
teachings, in which slavery is sometimes excused, 
sometimes exalted ; I comprehend, that, under the 
impulse of a sentiment so justifiable, one may be led 
on to anathematize preachers and churches in a 
mass, that he may even come to the point of repre- 
senting to himself the Christian faith as the true ob- 
stacle to the progress of liberty. This is a great 
perversion of the truth, but we can easily under- 
stand how it has succeeded in gaining the assent of 
generous and sincere minds. I myself have read a 
sermon which was listened to with sympathy in a 
certain Presbyterian church in î^ew York, in which 
slavery, declares right until the return of Jesus 
Christ, ceases to be so, I know not why, during tlie 
millennium ? I knov/ the nature of that theology, 
too truly styled cottony^ which is displayed in the 
clerical columns of a weekly religious paper. Not- 
withstanding, I hasten to say that these revolting 
excesses seldom appear except in seaports, and es- 
pecially in jS!"ew York. The interests of this great 
city are bound up to such a degree with those of 
the cotton States, that we may literally consider 



THE CHUKCHES AND SLAYEKY. 



77 



aSTgw York as a, prolongation of tlic South. Wo 
need not be surprised, tliereforc, to find some con- 
gregations there which arc ruled by the prejudices 
of the South. Besides, even in Now York, other 
churches protest with holy zeal, and other journals, 
among which I will cite the Independent^ the organ 
of the Congregationalists, combat slavery unceas- 
ingly in the name of the Gospel. 

Then people persist in seeing only New York, 
in taking notice only of what passes in Xew York ; 
but they forget that New York is an exception in 
the North, as much by its commercial position as 
by its opinions and votes. Let us go ever so short 
a distance from the city into the surrounding coun- 
try, and wo will encounter a different spirit — a 
spirit thoroughly impregnated Vvdth Christian faith, 
and little disposed to covenant with slavery. Tliero 
we begin to see that race of Puritan farmers, but 
lately represented by John Brown. Has not the 
attempt been made to transform hini also into a 
free thinker, a philosophic enemy of the Bible, and, 
from this very cause, an enemy to slavery ? T7e 
need nothing more than his last letter to his wife, 
to show from what source he had drawn that cour- 
age, so misdirected but so indomitable, which ho 
displayed at Harper's Ferry ; the Christian, the 



78 



THE cnurxiiEs axd claveey. 



Bibliccil and ortliodox Cliristianj comcG to explain 
llic liberal and the hero. 

That Ciiristians in general condemned the en- 
terprise of John Bro^vn, -while sympathizing with 
him, I hasten to r.cknowledgo ; and I am far from 
Llaniing them. That manj have 'Committed the 
real wrong of recoiling before the consecpiences of 
an open and decided conduct, I am forced to admit. 
Tco, without even mentioning the South, where, as 
every one knows, the reign of terror prevails, there 
arc numerous Protestant and Catholic churches 
in the remainder of the Confederation, which have 
refused to declare themselves, as they should have 
done, in opposition to the crime of slavery. Let 
us not hasten, however, to cry out against false- 
hood and hypocrisy ; most honorable and sincere 
men have believed that they would do more harm 
than good by bringing on a rupture with the South. 
Let us not forget that political rupture is comjDli- 
cated here with religious rupture. Now, all the 
churches extend over both iS ortli and South ; all 
the charitable societies number committees and 
subscribers in both îs orth and South. The point 
in cpiestion then, (let us weigh the innnensity of tlic 
sacrifice,) the point in question is to rend in twain 
all the churches, to break in pieces all the socie- 



THE CnUECIIES AXD SLAVEFwY. 



70 



ties, to .expose to perilous risks all tlic great "works 
that do honor to tho United States. 

Doubtless, to have gone their way, to have done 
their duty, and not to have troubled themselves 
about the consecpences, was the great rule of ac- 
tion. I grant it ; yet, notwithstanding, I refuse to 
stigmatize, as many have done, those men who 
have committed the fault of hesitating ; I feel that 
to rank them am.ong iho champions of slavery is to 
pervert facts, and to fall into a- blâmable exaggera- 
tion. Again, to-day, after the election of Mr. Lin- 
coln, cannot citizens be cited in the North who are 
devoted to the cause of the negroes, but who refuse 
to participate in abolitionist demonstrations, because 
they fear (and the sentiments does them honor) to 
encourage the impending insurrections ? 

This said, I wish to prove by some too well- 
known facts, what has been this forbearance, or 
even this pretended hesitation of orthodox Chris- 
tianity. On regarding the clrarches, I see two, 
and the most considerable, which have openly de- 
clared themselves : the Congregationalists and the 
Methodists. About six months since, the General 
Conference of Methodists resolutely plunged into 
the current without suffering itself to be trammelled 
by the protests which came to it from the South. 



80 



THE CIlUPwCHES AXD SLAYEEY. 



I read in a report presented to one of the great di- 
visions of this church : AYc believe that to sell or 
to hold in bondage Imman beings under the name 
of chattels, is in contradiction to the divine laws 
and to humanity ; and that it conflicts with t'he 
golden rule and with the rule of our discij)linc." 
Last year, a numerous assemblage of delegates of 
the Congregational churches adopted the following 
resolution : Slaveliolding is immoral, and slave- 
holders should not be admitted as members of 
Christian churches. We ought to protest against it 
without ceasing, in the name of the Gospel, until 
it shall have entirely disappeared." And this reso- 
lution has not remained a dead letter : a Conirresfa- 
tional church of Ohio has expelled from its bosom 
one of its deacons, who had contributed in the ca- 
pacity of magistrate to the extradition of a fugitive 
slave. 

Other churches, without taking so decided a 
position, have at least manifested by their internal 
convulsions the profound interest excited among 
them by the question of slavery. In this manner 
a secession has just rent the Presbyterian church in 
twain, because the declared adversaries of slavery 
were unwilling to remain responsible for a forbear- 
ance which appeared to them criminal. These 



THE CHUKCHES AKD SLAYEKT. 



81 



tilings are signs of life, and these signs are begin- 
ning to sliow themselves even in the midst of eccle- 
siastical bodies Vvdiich have acted, until now, in the 
most michristian manner. A warm discussion has 
been thus called forth, and this signifies a great 
deal, among the members of the Episcopal church 
in New York. The majority stifled the debate ; 
will it be able to do this always ? 

If from the churches we proceed to the religious 
societies, we find the same symptoms among them ; 
here, they declare themselves openly against sla- 
very, in sj)ite of the menaces of the South ; there, 
they succeed in staving ofi^ the question, yet at the 
price of excited debates, which continually spring 
up again, of a great scandal, and of protests which 
are heard by Christians through the whole world. 
The course of conduct adopted by the great Ameri- 
can Board of Missions is the more significant, inas- 
much as its committee is composed of members be- 
longing to various evangelical denominations ; it 
stands, therefore, as their permanent representative, 
yet this has not prevented its adoption of vigorous 
resolutions : it has broken off its relations with the 
missionaries employed among the Choctavv'S, for 
the sole reason that they refused to take the attitude 
befitting Christians in the face of the Indian slave- 
holdei's. 



82 TIIE CHURCHES AND SLATEEY. 

Another great body, the Tract Society, unfor- 
tunately, lias not followed this example ; tlie genei'al 
assemblies held at îsew York, and ruled by the 
spirit of tliat city, liave given a majority to llic 
party opposed to the disenssiou of the subject ; but, 
be it said to the honor of American Christians, the 
very large minority resisted to the end ; the latter 
was sustained by outside opinion, and many friends 
of the Gospel joined with it in deploring the pusil- 
lanimity which yielded to the menaces of tlie South. 
A crisis thence arose, which has not yet reached its 
height, and the first fruits of whicli have been the 
foundation of a rival society in Boston, to which 
adherents arc gathering from all sides. 

These are grave events, for they manifest the 
inmost revolutions of the human soul. ^Vould you 
knov/ what wall take place in political societies? 
Begin by informing yourself about what is taking 
place in the consciences of the public. ISTow it is 
evident that the public conscience is in motion in 
tlie United States. The vast obstacles by which 
this movement was trammelled have been sur- 
mounted on every side. I wish no other proof of 
this than the deplorable fact of which I have just 
made mention : the conduct of the Tract Societ}^, 
the internal crisis which it has experienced, the 



THE CIIUKCHES AND SLAVERY. 



83 



reprobation wliicli it encounters in Europe as in 
America. Arc not these j)alpablc proofs of tlio 
too little known truth that the great moral force 
which is struggling with American slavery is the 
Gospel ? 

And how could it be otherwise ? If we had not 
positive facts before our eyes, if v\^e did not knov/ 
that one entire sect of Christians, the Quakers, 
have devoted themselves, body and goods, to the 
service of poor fugitive slaves, if we did not recog- 
nize the deep Puritan imprint in the movement 
wliicli has colonized Kansas, and in that which has 
bonie Mr. Lincoln to the presidency, should we 
not be forced to ask ourselves wdiether it is possible 
that the Gospel remains a stranger to a struggle un- 
dertaken for liberty ? There exist, thank God, 
between liberty and the Gospel, close, eternal, and 
indestructible relations. I know of one species of 
freedom which contains the germ of all the rest — 
freedom of soul ; now wdiat was it, if not the Gos- 
pel, that introduced this freedom into the world ? 
Eemember ancient Paganism : neither liberty of 
conscience, nor liberty of individuals, nor liberty 
of families — such was its definition. The State laid 
its hand upon all the inmost part of existence, the 
creeds of the fathers, and the education of the chiL 



84 



THE CHUIiCIIES AND SLAVERY. 



dren ; moral slavery also existed everywhere, and if 
slavery, properly called, had been anywhere want- 
ing, it would have given cause for astonishment. 
The Gospel came, and with it these new phenomena : 
individual belief, true independence makes its ad- 
vent here on earth, a liberty worthy of the name 
appears finally among men. From this time we 
see men lifting up their heads, despotism finding its 
limits, the humblest, the weakest opposing to it in- 
surmountable barriers. 

They act without reflection, who attempt to 
place in opposition these two things : the Gospel 
and liberty. And remark that in the United States, 
in particular, the Gospel and liberty are accus- 
tomed to go together ; they first landed together at 
'New Plymouth with the passengers of the May- 
flower. "Why had these poor pilgrims torn them- 
selves from all the habits of home and country, to 
seek in the dead of winter an asylum on an un- 
Imown soil ? Because they loved the Gospel, and 
because they desired liberty ; the chief of liberties 
— that of the conscience. From the 21st of De- 
cember, 1620, there existed on the shores of the 
New "World the beginning of a free people — free 
through the powerful influence of the Gospel. All 
who have studied the United States with sincerity, 



THE CHURCHES AND SLAVEKY. 



85 



will ratify the opinion of M. de Tocqneville : 
" America is tlie place, of all others, where the 
Christian religion has preserved the most power 
over souls." This power is such, that we find it at 
the base of all lasting reforms. In this conntrj, 
in which tlie idea of authority has little force, there 
is one authority, that of the Bible, before which the 
majority bow, and which is of the more importance 
inasmuch as it alone commands respect and obe- 
dience. 

If you doubt the decisive part which the Gospel 
fills in American debates, look at the pains taken 
by parties to render public homage to it, the Demo- 
crats as the Republicans, Mr Buchanan as Mr. Lin- 
coln. Then look more closely at the Eepublican 
party, do you not find in it again the visible traces 
of Puritanism ? It is the ancient States, it is old 
America, it is also the Young America of the farm- 
ers, of the pioneers of the Western solitudes, the 
America of the clearers of the forests, the America 
of the Bible and the schools. This America long 
since abolished slavery, and prevented its introduc- 
tion into the territories that acknowledged its in- 
fluence. In the meanest of its cabins, you will find 
the Scriptures, hymn books, reports of religious so- 
cieties ; in the majority of its families, domestic 



S6 



THE CHUKCHES AND SLAYEET. 



worship is celebrated ; in its prayer-meetings, it is 
not rare to see physicians, lawyers, magistrates, 
marine officers, taking part publicly ; its statesmen 
do not think themselves dishonored by keeping a 
Sunday-school ; the Gospel, in a word, is a j^ower to 
wliich no other can compare, and outside of which 
it would be puerile to expect to succeed in accom- 
plishing any thing of importance. 

Here the action of the Gospel can be plainly 
detected ; an imjDortant religious event preceded 
and paved the way for the political event which we 
have witnessed: before the election of Mr. Lincoln, 
an awakening took place. The American awaken- 
ing, which must not be confounded v\'itli those re- 
vivals^ the description and sometimes the caricature 
of which have been transmitted us by travellers, the 
awakening, which had neither ecstasies nor convul- 
sive sobs, and the distinctive feature of which was 
a tone of simplicity and conviction, produced one 
of those profound agitations of the conscience, 
which give rise to generous resolutions. The finan- 
cial crisis had just overthrown the fortunes of the 
people ; they turned towards God and began to 
pray. On a route of three thousand miles, wher- 
ever one might, stop, he found a meeting, a simple, 
spontaneous meeting, at which the pastors did not 



THE CHUFwCHES AXD SLAVERY. 87 



take the initicitivc, where tliey were present instead 
of presiding. Ere long, pnblic attention became 
fixed on tliis movement, the greatness of vliich 
could not be contested; the most hostile jonrnals 
ended by rendering it homage. And it lasted, it 
still subsists, it has produced something else than 
meetings and prayers, it has induced extensive 
moral reforms, it has closed places of debauchery 
and taverns by hundreds. The military and com- 
mercial marine of the United States has been es- 
pecially subjected to its influence ; captains, ofiîcers, 
and sailors in great numbers, have shovn by their 
lives that their habits of piety are more than a 
vain form ; American vessels are perhaps the only 
ones at the present day in which groups of sailors 
assemble to converse on the interests of their soul, 
and to make the praises of God resound over the 
ocean. 

In strengthening the religious element, in excit- 
ing the Puritan fibre of America, the awakening cer- 
tainly contributed a great share to the success of the 
party opposed to slavery. South Carolina acknowl- 
edged this herself lately, when she inserted the fol- 
lowing phrase in her declaration of independence : 
" The public opinion of the Ts orth has given to a great 
political error the sanction of a still more erroneous 



88 



THE CnUKCIIES A^^D SLAYEKY. 



religious sentiment." Is tliis religious sentiment, 
assailed by the slaYeliolclers, tliat of free thinkers, or 
of Christians ? Tlie South is not mistaken ; it 
knows that the truly difficult acts of emancipation 
are accomplished on earth only by the power of 
the Gospel ; it saw the great abolition impulse rise 
in England, and spread OYcr the United States ; 
journals, committees, correspondence, all indicated 
that the Eno-lish had become the American niOYC- 
ment, and was continued under the same banner. 
Under this banner, and this alone, it has conquered. 
A colossal work in fact is here in question, be- 
fore which all purely human forces fall to the 
ground. If such prodigious Christian efforts were 
needed to giYc the Yictory to Wilberforce, what will 
be required in the heart of a country Avhere slaYcry 
is not exiled to distant colonies, and where it has ac- 
quired formidable proportions with years. Tliere are 
easy abolitions, which are wrought in some sort of 
themselYcs, and which seem the natural corollary of 
a political rcYolution ; as, for instance, that which 
occurred forty years ago in the Spanish republics. 
BoliYar, Quiroga, and the other leaders, needed the 
support of all classes of the population in their 
struggle against Spain ; they adopted the expedient 
of suppressing slavery. In taking this resolution. 



THE CHUKCHES AND SLAVEKY. 



89 



tliey accomplished a most honorable deed, but 
they made little change in the condition of the 
country, for large planting was rare, and both the 
blacks and the whites were few in nmnbers, less 
numerous, indeed, than the Indians and the half 
breeds. 

If political reasons then sufficed, it is evident 
that they are far from sufficing to-day : we must 
seek elsewhere for the explanation of the movement 
which, a long time wavering and suppressed, has 
just manifested its irresistible power in the United 
States. AVe have recoOTized in it the hand of the 

o 

Gospel ; and this is no indifferent matter, for if the 
Gospel ]iad no part in it, such a movement would 
end in destruction. 

The responsibility of Christians will be great in 
America ; they can do much for the favorable solu- 
tion of a problem which menaces the future of their 
country, and overshadows that of humanity. The 
mode of pacification here is, to declare themselves ; 
the pretensions of the South, its fatal progress, the 
extreme peril to Vv^hich but lately it exposed the 
Confederation, are due nmch more than is imagined 
to the hesitation of the religious societies and the 
churches. If it had long since been brought face to 
face with a determined evangelical doctrine, the 



90 



THE CIIUKCIIES A^'D SLAVEFwY. 



South, wliich knows also, though in a less dcgrec, 
the influence of the Gospel, would have avoided fall- 
ing into the excesses to which it is now abandoned. 
The faults of the past are irreparahle, but it is 
possible to ^vard oil their return. Let all Northern 
churches, let all societies, let all eminent Christians 
take henceforth with firmness the position which 
they ought to have taken from the first ; let them 
present to their Southern brethren a solid rallying 
point, and the effects of this faithful conduct will 
not be slow in making themselves felt. There is, in 
the slave States, especially in those occupying an 
iiitermediate position, more disturbance of thought, 
and more confiicts of feeling, than we generally 
suppose. Let the banner of the Christian faith be 
openly displayed, and many good men will rally 
round it : this is certain. 

And let no one put forward the shameful pre-^ 
text : there arc sceptics, rationalists, free thinkers 
in the ranks of Abolitionism ! Why not ? Ques- 
tions of this sort, thanks to the Gospel, have entered 
in the domain of common morality , shall I desert 
these questions in order to avoid contact with men 
who reject the essential doctrines of Christianity ? 
I confess that the orthodoxy which should draw 
such conclusions would appear suspicious to me. 



THE CHUKCIÎES AND SLAYEKY. 



91 



Voltaire pleading for the Calas ^vill not mal^e me 
turn my back on religious liberty ; Clianning writ- 
ing pages against slavery, revealing a heart more 
Christian than his doctrine ; Parker, blending his 
noble efforts in favor of the negroes with his assaults 
against the Bible, will not alienate me from a cause 
wdiich was mine before it was theirs. 

I say, besides, that the objections of these men 
against Christianity force me to ask whether our 
conduct as Christians be not one of the principal 
causes of their scepticism. Is it quite certain that 
Voltaire himself w^ould have been the adversary 
that we know him, if he had not seen that thought 
was stifled, that liberty w^as crushed, that conscience 
was violated in the name of the Gospel ? Would 
not this same Gospel have presented itself under a 
different aspect to Parker, Channing, and the other 
Unitarians of Boston, if they had seen it at its post, 
the post of honor, at the head of all generous ideas 
and true liberties ? Yes ; there are Abolitionists 
who reject the Bible because they have heard cer- 
tain orthodox Christians maintain that the Bible is 
in favor of slavery. "Whoever preaches this, is of 
a school of impiety. 



92 



THE GOSPEL AND SLAVERY. 



CIIAPTEE YI. 



THE GOSPEL AND SLAVE F-Y. 



How did they set to Vv^ork to preacli this ? I will 
answer this question by two others : How did Bos- 
suet set to work to write his Politique tirée de 
V Ecriture^ to proclaim in tlie name of the Bible ob- 
ligatory monarchy, divine right, the absolute author- 
ity of kings, the duty of destroying false religion by 
force, the duty of ofïicially sustaining the truth, the 
duty of having a budget of modes of worship, the 
duty of uniting Church and State, without speaking 
of his Biblical apology for war, for the use of Louis 
XIY. ? How did certain doctors among the Bound- 
heads, in their turn, set to work to proclaim the di- 
vine right of republics, and to ordain the massacre 
of the new Amalekites ? The method is very sim- 
ple : it consists only in confounding the law with 
the Gospel. This confusion once wrought, the po- 
litical and civil institutions of the Old Testament 



THE GOSPEL AND SLAVERY. 



93 



lose tlieir temporary and local cliaracter, and wc go 
to the New Testament in search of what is not 
there : namely, political and civil institutions. 

Tliongh the Gospel is not the law, it is a truth 
which has been making its Vv^ay since the seventeenth 
century, and which seems to be no longer contested 
to-day, except in the camp of the champions of sla- 
very. The Gospel, which addresses itself to all na- 
tions and all ages, does not pretend to force them 
into the strait vestments of the ancient Jewish na- 
tion ; no more does it pretend to " sew a piece of 
new cloth on an old garment, else the new cloth 
taketh away from the old, and the rent is made 
worse." I speak here wâth a view to those w^lio, in 
the law as in the Gospel, in the New Testament as 
in the Old, venerate the infallible word of God. A 
revelation, to be divine, does not cease to be pro- 
gressive, and nothing exacts that all truths should 
be promulgated in a single day. If God deemed 
proper to give to his people, so long as they needed 
it, a legislation adapted to their social condition, 
this legislation, divinely given at that time, may bo 
also divinely abrogated afterward. And this is what 
has taken place. Those who quote to us texts from 
he Old Testament concerning slavery, appear to 
ave forgotten the saying of Jesus Christ in refer- 



9i 



THE GOSPEL AND SLAYEEY. 



cncc to another institution, divorce : " It Tv'as on 
account of the hardness of jour hearts." Yes, on 
account of the hardness of their hearts, God estab- 
lished among the Israelites, incaj)able, at that time, 
of rising higher, pro visionary regulations, perfect as 
regards his condescension, but most imperfect, as 
he declares himself; as regards the absolute truth. 
He ^Tho makes no account of this great fact will 
find in the boohs of Moses, and in the Prophets, 
pretexts either for practising to-day vrhat vas toler- 
ated only for a time, or for attaching the Scrip- 
tures, indignant at v^'hat they contain. ^ 

It vas Jesus Christ himself, therefore, vvdio drew 
the lino of demarcation between the law and the 
Gospel — who announced the end of local and tem- 
porary institutions. Has he revealed other institu- 
tions, this time definitive ? To form such an idea 
of the Gospel, we must never have opened it. The 
Gospel is not a Koran. In the Koran, we doubt- 
less find both civil and criminal laws, and the prin- 
ciples of government ; the Apostles did not once 
tread on this ground. Fancy what their work 
would have been, had they substituted a social for 
a spiritual revolution — had they touched, above all, 
the question of slavery, which formed part of the 
fundamental law of the ancient world. And here 



THE GOSPEL AND SLAVEKY. 



95 



I Yfisli my tlionglit to bo clearly comprelieiidecl : I 
do not pretend that tlio Apostlea v/ero conscious of 
the unlawiiihicss of slavery, and tliat they avoided 
pointing it out through policy, for fear of compro- 
mising their vorh. Is o, indeed, this happened un- 
consciously. According to all appearances, they 
held the opinions of their times, and God revealed 
nothing to them on the subject, wishing that the 
abolition of slavery, like all the social results of the 
Gospel, should be produced by moral agency, v/hich 
works from within outw^ard, which changes the 
heart before changing the actions. 

At the time of the Apostles, there were many 
other abuses than slavery ; they never wrote a 
word in their condemnation. They make allusions 
to war, yet say nothiug of the nameless horrors 
which then attended it ; they speak of the sword 
placed in the king's hands to punish crime, yet say 
nothing of those atrocious tortures, in the first rank 
of which must be cited crucifixion ; they make use 
of figures borrowed from the public games, yet say 
nothing either of the combats of the gladiators, or 
of the abominations which sullied other spectacles ; 
they unceasingly call to mind the reciprocal rela- 
tions of husbands and wives, of joarents and. chil- 
dren, yet say nothing of the despotic authority which 



96 



THE GOSPEL AND SLAYEKT. 



tlie Roman law conferred upon the father, or of the 
debasement to which it condemned the wife. The 
evangelical method is this : it has not occupied it- 
self with commnnitieSj yet has wronght the pro- 
foundest of the social revolutions ; it has not de- 
manded any reform, yet has accomplished all of 
them ; the atrocities of war and of torture, the glad- 
iatorial combats and immodest spectacles, the des- 
potism of fathers and the debasement of women, all 
have disappeared before a profouiad, internal ac- 
tion, Vvdiich attacks the very roots of the evil. 

I^ot only does the Gospel forbear to touch on 
social and religions problems, but, even on ques- 
tions of morals, it refuses to furnish detailed solu- 
tions. Its system of morality is very short ; and in 
this lies its greatness, through this it becomes mo- 
rality instead of casuistry. Cases of conscience, 
special directions, a moral code, promulgated article 
by article — you will find in it nothing of this sort. 
"What you will find there, and there alone, is a 
growing morality, which passes my expression. 
Two or three sayings were written eighteen centu- 
ries ago, and these sayings contain in the germ a 
series of commandments, of transformation, of pro- 
gression, which we have not nearly exhausted. I 
spoke a moment since of the progress of revela- 



THK GOSPEL A^D SLAVERY. U7 

tions ; I must speak now of the progress whicli is 
being wrought in virtue of a revelation constantly 
the same, but constantly becoming better under- 
stood, which multiplies our duties in proportion as 
it enlightens our conscience. "With the one saying : 
" What ye would that men should do unto you, do 
ye also to them," the Gospel has ojpened before 
us infinite vistas of moral development. 

Before this one saying, the cruelties and infa- 
mous customs of ancient society, not mentioned by 
the Apostles, have successively succumbed ; before 
this one saying, the modern family has been 
formed ; before this one saying, American slavery 
will disappear as European slavery has disappeared 
already. AVith this saying, we are all advancing, 
we are learning, and we shall continue to learn. 
Yes, the time will come, I am convinced, when we 
shall see new duties rise up before us, w^hen we 
cannot with a clear conscience maintain customs, 
w^hat, I know not, which we maintain conscien- 
tiously to-day. 

This carriés us somewhat further, it must be 
granted, than a list of fixed duties 7ie varietw ; it 
opposes slavery in a different manner than a sen- 
tence pronounced once for all. The Gosj^el took 
the surest means of overthrovx'ing it when, letting 



98 



TTIE GOSPEL AND SLAVEKY. 



alone the reform of institutions, it contented itself 
with pursuing that of sentiments ; when it thus 
prepared the time when the slaveholder himself 
would be forced to ask what is contained in the in- 
exhaustible saying : " What ye would that men 
should do unto you, do ye also unto them." Even 
in the heart of the Southern States, despite the 
triple covering of habits, prejudices, and interests, 
this saying is making its way, and is disturbing the 
consciences of the people much more than is gen- 
erally believed. And the work that it has begun 
it will finish ; it Vvill force the planters to translate 
the word slavery, to consider one by one the abom- 
inable practices which constitute it. Is it to do to 
others as we would that they should do to us, to sell 
a family at retail ? To maintain laws which give 
over every slave, whether wife or maiden, to her 
owner, whatever he may be, and which take away 
from this maiden, from this wife, the right of re- 
membering her modesty and her duties — what do 
Christians call this ? To produce marketable ne- 
groes, to dissolve marriages, to ordain adulteries, 
to inflict ignoble punishment, to interdict instruc- 
tion — is this doing to others what we would that 
they should do to us ? 

The Christian sense of right is relentless, thank 



THE GOSPEL AND SLAVERY. 



99 



God ; it does not suffer itself to be deceived by ap- 
pearances ; wlierc v/c dispute about words, it forces 
us to go to facts. îs'ow, look at tlie facts which 
are really in question in America, Avhen the great 
subject of slavery is discussed there theoretically. 
Against the great evangelical system of morality, 
the Judaical interpretations of such or such a text 
have little chance. The epistle of Paul, sending 
back to Philemon his fugitive slave Onesimus, is 
quoted to us. Assuredly, the Apostle pronounces 
in it no anathema against slavery, nor does he 
exact enfranchisement ; these ideas were unknown 
to him ; but he says : ''I beseech thee for my son 
whom I have begotten in my bonds, whom I have 
sent again : thou therefore receive him, that is my 
own bowels. Without thy mind would I do noth- 
ing ; that thy benefit should not be as it were of 
necessity, but willingly. For perhaps he therefore 
departed for a season, that thou shouldest receive 
him forever ; not nov/ as a servant, but above a 
servant, a brother beloved. Having confidence in 
thy obedience I wrote unto thee, knowing that 
thou wilt do also more than I say." 

Does any one fancy Philemon treating Onesi- 
mus, after this epistle, as fugitive slaves are treated 
in America, putting up his wife and children di- 



100 



THE GOSPEL AND SLAVEliY. 



rectly after for sale, or delivering liim over to the 
first slave merchant that was willihg to take charge 
of him, and carry him a hundred leagues away ? 
It is so certain that Philemon did more than had 
been told him, that the Epistle to the Colossians 
shows lis the " faithful and well-beloved brother 
Onesimns" honorably mentioned among those con- 
cerned abont the spiritual interests of the church. 

Do what one will, there is an implied abolition 
of slavery (implied but positive) at the bottom of 
that close fraternity created by the faith in the Sa- 
viour. Between 'brethren^ the relation of master 
and slave, of merchant and merchandise, cannot 
long subsist. To «ell on an auction-block or deliver 
over to a slave-driver an immortal soul, for which 
Christ has died, is an enormity before v/hich the 
Christian sense of right will always recoil in the 
end. In this,'^ it is written, " there is neither 
Greek nor Jew, nor circumcision nor tincircum- 
cision, nor barbarian nor Scythian, nor bond nor 
free, but Christ is all and in all." Let slaveholders 
put to themselves the question what they would 
say to-day if the epistle to Philemon were ad- 
dressed to them ; and it is addressed to them ; the 
Onesimuses of the South — and such there are — are 
thus thrown uj^on the conscience of their masters, 
their brothers, 



TIIE GOSPEL AND SLAVEKY. 



101 



I have said enoiigli on tlie subject to dispense 
witli examining very numerous passages in wliich 
slavery is supposed by the writers of tlie New Tes- 
tament. The duties of masters and of slaves arc laid 
down by them without doubt, and the existence 
of the institution is not contested for a moment ; 
only, it is brought face to face with that which will 
slay it : the doctrine of salvation through Christ, 
of pardon, of humility, of love, is, in itself, and with- 
out the necessity of expressing it, the absolute nega- 
tion of slavery. 

It has fully proved so, and the early ages of 
Christianity leave no doubt as to the interpretation 
given by Christians to the teachings of the Apos- 
tles. Despite the rapid corruptions introduced into 
the churches, we see one brilliant fact shining forth 
in them : emancipations becoming more frequent, 
slaves, as well as free men, succeeding to ecclesias- 
tical offices, spiritual equality producing the fruit 
which it cannot help producing, namely, legal equal- 
ity. Observe, too, how the edicts of the emperors 
multiplied as soon as the influence of Christian- 
ity was exerted in the Roman world. And all these 
edicts had but one aim : to sweeten servitude, to in- 
crease alFranchisement by law, to facilitate volun- 
tary emancipation. 



102 



THE GOSPEL AND SLxVVEKY. 



"What the Gospel did then against European 
slavery, it is doing now against American slavery. 
Its end is the same ; its v/eapons are the same ; they 
have not rusted during eighteen centuries. Tliose 
planters of the English islands Vvcre not mistaken, 
who, instinctively divining where lay their great 
enemy, had recourse to every measure to expel mis- 
sionaries from among them. Neither were those 
Texan executioners mistaken, who lately put to 
death the missionary Bewley, a touching martyr to 
the cause of the slaves. I ask, in the face of the 
gallows of Bewley, what we are to think of that 
prodigious paradox according to which the Gospel 
is the patron of slavery. To those who mistake its 
meaning on this point, the Gospel replies by its 
acts ; it replies also by the unanimous testimony of 
its servants. What is m.ore striking, in fact, than 
to see that, apart from the country in which the 
action of interests and habits disturbs the judgment 
of Christians, thcj'e is but one way of comprehend- 
ing and interpreting the Scripture on this point ? 
Consult England, France, Germany ; Christians 
everywhere will tell you that the Gosj)el abolished 
slavery, although it does not say a single word 
which would proclaim this abolition. Why, if the 
doubt were possible, would not diversity of opinions 



THE GOSPEL AND SLAVERY. 



103 



be also possible among disinterested judges? To 
speak only of France, sec llic synods of oiir free 
cliurclies, wliicli continually stigmatize both Svredisli 
intolerance and American slavery ; see an address 
signed tliree years ago by the pastors and the elders 
of five hundred and seventy-one French churches, 
which has gone to carry to the United States the 
undoubted testimony of a conviction which in truth 
is that of all. • 

It seems to me that our demonstration is com- 
plete. What would it be if I should add that 
American slavery, which its friends so strangely 
claim to place under the protection of the Apostles, 
has nothing in common with that of vdiicli the 
Apostles had cognizance. The thing, however, is 
certain. Slavery, in the United States, is founded 
on color, it is negro slavery. Kow, this is a fact 
wholly new in the history of mankind, a monstrous 
fact, which profoundly modifies the nature of sla- 
very. Before Las Casas, that virtuous creator of the 
slave trade, the name of which comprises to him 
alone a whole commentary on the maxim " Do evil 
tliat good may come," before Las Casas, no one had 
thought of connecting slavery with race. Xow, the 
slavery connected with race is that of all others 
most difficult to uproot, for it bears an indelible 



104 



THE GOSPEL AND SLAVERY. 



sign of inequality, a sign wliicli tlie law did not 
create, and wliicli it cannot destroy. 

Sncli was not the slavery tliat offered itself to 
tlie eyes of tlie Prophets and AjDostles ; a normal 
servitude, of right, based upon a native and inde- 
structible inferiority was not then in question, but 
an accidental servitude among equals, to which the 
chances of w^ar had given birth, and which emanci- 
pation supj)resscd entire. Quite different is the 
slavery which depends on race, and which, it may 
be said, supposes a malediction ; do what one will, 
this latter vv^ill subsist, it will, in a manner, survive 
itself ; it will find, besides, in the idea of a provi- 
dential dispensation, the natural excuse for its ex- 
cesses. This slavery the Bible condemns in the 
most explicit manner. If its champions dare sup- 
pose two species, the book of Genesis shows them 
all mankind springing from one man, and the Gos- 
pel recounts to them the redemption wrought in be- 
half of all the descendants of Adam ; if they argue 
from the curse pronounced against Canaan, the Old 
Testament presents to them the detailed enumera- 
tion of the Canaanites, a vast family, in which the 
whites figure as well as the blacks. 

In short, there is a deadly struggle between the 
Gospel and slavery under all its forms, and particu- 



THE GOSPEL Al^D SLAVEKY. 



105 



larly under the odious form which, the African slave 
trade has given it in modern times. The Gospel 
has been, is, and will be, at the head of every ear- 
nest movement directed against slavery. It is im- 
portant that it should be so ; it is the only means 
of avoiding the acts of violence, the revolts, the ex- 
treme calamities from which the whites and the 
blacks would equally suffer. Tlie Gosj)el is admi- 
rable, inasmuch as by the side of the duties of mas- 
ters, it proclaims those of slaves ; as in the time of 
the Apostles, it does not hesitate to recommend to 
them gentleness, submission, scrupulous fidelity, 
love for those who maltreat them, the practice of 
difficult virtues ; it makes them free within, in or- 
der to render them capable of becoming free 
without. 

To judge of this method, we have only to com- 
pare the miserable population of St. Domingo with 
the beautiful free villages which cover the English 
islands. How true the saying : " The wrath of man 
never accomplishes the justice of God Wher- 
ever the WTath of man has had full sway, even to 
chastise abominable abuses, it has remained a curse. 
I tremble when I think of the revolts which may 
break out at any moment in the Southern States. 
Bloodshed, let us not forget, would sully our ban- 
s'^- 



106 



THE GOSPEL AKD SLAVERY. 



lier ; to the right of the slaves, sucli a crisis -vroiild 
bo forever opposed, and who knows whether a ter- 
rible return might not burst npon them? 

The mind becomes troubled at the mere image 
of the horrors that would ensue from civil war. 
May the Christians of America comprehend, at 
length, in a more perfect manner, the greatness of 
the part that God reserves for them, and the extent 
of the responsibilities that are weighing upon them. 
To take a stand frankly against slavery ; to remove 
their last pretexts from sincere men who seek to rec- 
oncile it Avith the Gospel ; to organize in the North 
the action of a vast moral power ; to address to the 
South words breathing forth truth and charity ; to ap- 
peal without wearying to the hearts of masters and 
slaves ; to prepare for trying moments that guaran- 
tee which nothing can replace, the common faith of 
the blacks and the whites ; to keep courage even 
when all seems lost ; to practise the Christian voca- 
tion, which consists in pursuing and realizing the 
impossible ; to show once more to the world the 
power that resides in justice — this is to accomplish 
a noble task. 



THE PEESENT CRISIS. 



107^ 



CHAPTER VII, 

THE PEESENT CRISIS. 

We now possess tlio i^rincipal elements of onr 
solution ; we can approach the problem just pro- 
pounded by the present crisis, and, confining our- 
selves no longer to the appreciation of the past, can 
glance at the future. Not, indeed, that I make any 
pretensions to prophecy ; political predictions, sus- 
pected with reason in all times, should be still more 
so at our epoch, which is that of the miforeseen. 
But I have a right to prove that the w^ork which is 
being pursued in America is, as I have affirmed, a 
work of elevation, not of destruction. The dangers 
which the nation is advancing to meet are nothing, 
comj)ared with those towards which it was lately 
progressing ; the election of Mr. Lincoln, and the 
secession of the cotton States have introduced a new 
position which at last affords a glimpse of real 
chances of salvation. 



108 



THE PJRESENT CRISIS. 



I have named secession : what are vre to think 
of the principle on which it rests ? For this ques- 
tion another may be snbstituted : what is a Con- 
federation ? If Vio reduce it, which is inadmissible, 
to a sim^ple league of States, it still remains none 
the less binding on each of them, so long as the end 
of the league remains intact. N^ever yet existed 
on earth, a federal compact conceived in this wise : 
" Tlie States which form a part of this league will 
remain in it only till it pleases them to leave it." 
Such, notwithstanding, is the formula on which the 
Southern theorists make a stand. Among the anar- 
chical doctrines that our age has seen hatched, (and 
they are numerous,) this seems to me worthy of oc- 
cupying the place of honor. This right of separa- 
tion is simply the liberum veto resuscitated for the 
benefit of federal institutions. As in the horseback 
diets of Poland, a single oj)posing vote could put a 
stop to every thing, so that it only remained to vote 
by sabre-strokes, so Confederations, recognizing the 
right of separation, would have no other resort than 
brute force, for no great nation can allow itself to 
be killed without defending itself. 

Picture to yourselves, I iiitreat you, the progress 
that political demoralization would make under 
such a system. As there is never a law or a measure 



THE PHESENT CEISIS. 



109 



that is not displeasing to some one, it would be 
necessary to live in tlie presence of tlie continually 
repeated threat : " Ji the law passes, if the measure 
is adopted, if the election takes place, if you do not 
do all I want, if you do not yield to all my caprices, 
I leave you, I constitute myself an independent 
State, I provoke the formation of a rival Confede- 
racy.^^ The Voorst causes are the readiest to threaten 
in this stylo ; having notliing reasonable to say in 
their own favor, they willingly proceed to violence, 
and the saying of Themistocles would find here 
a legitimate application : " You are angry, there- 
fore, you arc wrong." 

What the result of this would be. We can im- 
agine. ÎTo question would be longer judged by its 
own merits ; the despotism of bad men would be 
established ; expedients would take the place of prin- 
ciples; fear would put justice to flight; national 
resolutions would be nothing more than com- 
promises and bargains. This, we must admit, is 
something like what has been passing in the United 
States since the South proclaimed its ultra policy, 
and placed its pretensions under the protection of 
its threats. If they had once more bowed the head, 
all would have been lost ; the dignity, the mental 
liberty of America, would have suffered complete 



110 



THE PRESENT CKISIS. 



shipwreck ; of all this noble system of governmentj 
there would have remained standing but a single 
maxim : Accord always and everywhere whatever is 
necessary to prevent the separation of the South. 
Unconstitutional in all places, the theory of sepa- 
ration is doubly so in the United States, where the 
federal system is more concentrated than elsewhere. 
It is without doubt a federal system ; the separate 
States preserve the right in it of regulating their 
special legislation, of governing themselves as they 
choose, and even of holding and practising principles 
which are profoundly repugnant to other parts of 
the Confederation ; the central power is, however, 
endowed with an extended sphere. 

It has its taxes, its officers, its army, its courts ^ 
it possesses in the Territory of the different States 
federal property depending upon it alone ; in fine, 
its general government and general legislation ap- 
ply to the efTective handling of all the essential 
interests of the nation. I am not surprised that the 
American Confederation is so strongly cemented 
together, excluding the pretended right of separa- 
tion better than any other ; the States that united 
towards the close of the last century were already 
in the habit of acting in concert ; they were of the 
same blood, and had lived under the same rule ; 



THE PRESENT CKISIS. 



Ill 



tlieir history, tlieir interests, their customs, their 
tongue, their religion, all contributed to bind them 
dosely to each other. 

Besides, the question is unanimously resolved in 
the United States. Apart from the fire-eaters^ not 
a person is found who has the slightest doubt as to 
the impossibility of modifying, by the violent deci- 
sion of a few, the common Constitution which con- 
tains the enumeration of the States, and which can 
only be amended by a solemn act, voted in the 
special form prescribed by the compact. Mr. Lin- 
coln merely expressed the general opinion when he 
said the other day : ^* Tlie Union is a regular mar- 
riage, not a sort of free relation w^hich can be main- 
tained only by passion." Secession is Revolution 
is a political axiom which has been current at all 
times in the United States. It is because they are 
something else than a juxtaposition of States, that 
they comprise, by the side of a Senate in which all 
the States arc equal, a House of Eepresentatives, in 
which the number of deputies is in proportion to 
the population. Our Constitution," wrote Madi- 
son, " is neither a centralized State nor a Federal 
Government, but a blending of the two." The ex- 
perience which they had had from 177G to 1789 had 
taught the different States the necessity of giving a 



112 



THE TFwESENT CEISIS, 



more concentrated character to tlieir federation. 
Let ns not forget that they are bound by oath to re- 
mam faithful to iKvi^dual union ^ and that there is 
not a federal officer in America who has not sworn 
to maintain this Union. 

I shall not dvrell on the fact that the Confedera- 
tion purchased with its money two of the States 
that now pretend to secede from it ; that it gaye 
seyenty-fiye millions to France for Louisiana, and 
twenty-fiye millions to Spain for Florida ; no, I 
choose to appeal from this to precedents, the author- 
ity of which is not contested, and which form, in 
some sort, the interpreting commentary of the Con- 
stitution. Li the last century, the State of Xew 
York, on giying in its adhesion to the Constitution, 
desired to reserye to itself this same power of seced- 
ing some day if it pleased ; but such a reseryation 
was rejected. At the e2:)0cli of the war of 1S12 and 
the embaro'o laws, a conyention of the Xew EnMand 
States assembled at Hartford, and talked of eyen- 
tual separation, whereupon the Southern party 
likened all separation without consent to treason, 
and this doctrine was sustained by the Ulchmond 
Inquirer^ the organ of Jefterson. Wlien, after- 
wards, Soutli Carolina, accustomed to the fact, 
dared proclaim that act of nullification which was 



TnE PFwESENT CFwISIS 



113 



tlic prelude to a complete renunciation of federal 
obligations, it ^vas plainly signiiied to her that a re- 
volt would be suppressed by force of arms, and she 
yielded on the spot. '^\'lien, tlic otlier day, tliis 
same South Carolina lowered the colors of the 
United States, and unfurled the Palmetto flag, Mr. 
Buchanan himself proclaimed (how could ho do 
otherwise ?) the flagrant illegality of such an act ; it 
is true, tliat, after having declared it illegal, he took 
care to disavov/ all intention of putting the law 
in force. 

And this same conduct of Mr. Buchanan is the 
precise explanation of the prodigious haste wliich 
the South Carolinians have used in their pro- 
ceedings. Tliey knew that the President in power 
could not, if he would, act with vigor against his 
own party. His inaction was assured ; there were 
two months of interregnum, of which it was impor- 
tant to make the most ; so that Mr. Lincoln, on 
coming into ofiice, might find himself checked, or 
at least harassed, by the power of a deed accom- 
plished. 

It seems as though Mr. Buchanan was anxious 
himself to give the signal of revolt. The message 
that was issued by him, after the election of Mr. Lin- 
coln, is really the most extraordinary document ever 



114 



THE PRESENT CRISIS. 



-written by the head of a great State ; ho doubt- 
less declares in it that a regular election cannot of 
itself alone furnish sufBcient cause for the A'iolcnce 
of the South ; ho takes care, howeverj to add that 
the South has reason to complain, that reparation 
and guarantees are duo it, and that if these are 
refused, (that is, if the North refuses to replace its 
head under the yoke, and to decree at once the ruin 
and the shame of America,) it will then be time for 
action. 

The Carolinians thought that they might be ex- 
cused for being a little less prudent than the first 
magistrate of the United States, since, moreover, 
they saw their pretensions sanctioned by him. 
Why not attack the Confederation wliile it had a 
chief who w^as determined to make as little defence 
as possible ? The w^eakness of Mr. Buchanan jus- 
tified the confidence of Carolina. He refrained to 
place in the Federal fortresses troops destined to 
protect them against an expected assault ; vrhen a 
brave man, Major Anderson, took measures to de- 
fend the post that had been confided him, this un- 
expected resistance by which the programme vras 
deranged, appeared as ill-timed to Mr. Buchanan 
as insolent to the j)eople of Charleston ; and the 
despatch of the 30th of December, addressed to 



THE PRESENT CRISIS. 



115 



tlieir commissioners, exculpates liim from the crime 
of having sent the reinforcements, and makes ex- 
cuses in pitiful terms for the conduct of Major An- 
derson, whom they ought to hear before condemn- 
ing. In fact, Anderson acted on his own responsi- 
bility, and incurred the blame of the Minister of 
War, who advised in full council the surrender of 
the forts. 

The American Government is as timid as the 
seceded States are resolute. Our generation, which 
has witnessed sad spectacles, has never yet, per- 
haj)S, contemplated any more humiliating. Minis- 
ters, one of whom, hardly out of the Cabinet, has 
gone to preside over the secession convention at 
Montgomery, and another of whom has taken care 
to pave the way in advance for the revolt of the 
South, and to secure for it the resources of money, 
arms, and munitions, which it was about to need ; 
ministers who vote openly for the insurgents, 
whose financial intrigues have been proved by in- 
vestigation, and whose electoral manoeuvres, dupli- 
cated by embezzlement of public money, have 
ended in a sort of political treason, disavowed only 
by General Cass ; a Cabinet, in the last extremity, 
still essaying to continue its former course by kill- 
ing with its veto the bill adopted by the Legislature 



IIG 



THE PRESENT CRISIS. 



of IS'ebraska to prohibit slavery in its Territory ; a 
Government falling apart by piecemeal, for fear of 
compromising itself by resisting some part of tlie 
Soutli : do you knov/ of any thing so shameful ? 
Mr. Buchaiip.n will end as lie began : for four years, 
he has been strnggling to obtain an extension 
of slavery ; for a month, he has been favoring the 
j)lans of separation, by opposing his force of inertia 
to the growing indignation of the Korth. 

Being unable to prevent every thing, he does at 
least what he can : forced to send some reinforce- 
ments, he speedily withdraws them in a manner 
seemingly designed to render easy the attack on Fort 
Sumter and to discourage Major Anderson. In 
the hands of a President who understood his duties, 
things would have gone on very differently. In 
the first place, the South would have known on 
what to rely, and w^ould have been reminded of the 
message of General Jackson in 1833, exacting the 
immediate disbanding of its troops ; next, prelimi- 
nary measures of precaution would not have been 
systematically neglected ; lastly, at the first symp- 
tom of revolt, a sufficient number of ships of war 
would have been sent to Charleston to insure the 
regular collection of taxes and respect for the Fed- 
eral property. Nothing is so pacific as resolution : 



THE PKESENT CRISIS. 



117 



face to face with a strong Government, we look twice 
before launching into adventures ; hut, v\^ith Mr. 
Buchanan, it was almost impossible for the cotton 
States to refrain from precipitating themselves 
headlong into them. Tlie repression that will 
come by and by will not repair the evil that has 
been done. Explanations v/ill also follow too late ; 
it was for the President to reply on the spot, and 
categorically, to the manifestos issued by the South. 
To let the violent States knov^ that their unconsti- 
tutional plans would meet a prompt chastisement ; 
to let the neio'liborino; Strttes know that their sov- 
ereignty was by no means menaced, and that they 
would continue to regulate their internal institu- 
tions as they pleased ; to say to all that the discus- 
sion of plans of abolition was not in question ; to 
say too to all that the majorities of free-soil ers 
would be jDrotected in the Territories, and that the 
conquests of slavery vv^ere ended : what language 
would have been better fitted than this to isolate 
the Gulf States — perhaps to check them ? 

I say perhaps^ because I know that passions 
had reached such a pitch of exasperation that a 
rupture seemed inevitable. In South Carolina, for 
example, the Governor had recommended both 
Houses in advance to take measures for seceding if 



118 



THE PRESENT CRISIS. 



Mr. Lincoln sliould be elected ; a special commis- 
sion was nominated, and held permanent session. 
In Texas, Senator Wigfall did not fear to say, in 
supporting Mr. Breckenridgc : If any other can- 
didate is elected, look for stormy weather. There 
may be a Confederation, indeed, but it will not 
number more than thirty-three States.*' Mr. Jef- 
ferson Davis, of Mississippi, and Mr. Benjamin, of 
Louisiana, held no less explicit language, announ- 
cing that at the first electoral defeat of the South, 
it would set about forming a separate Confedera- 
tion, long since demanded by its true interests. 

What the South called its " interests," what it 
ended by adopting as a political platform, outside 
of which there was no safety, was, as we have seen, 
the subjugation of majorities in the Territories, the 
restriction of sovereignty in the JS^orthern States, 
the reform of the liberty bills, which refused the 
prisons of these States and the co-operation of their 
officers, to the Federal agents charged with arrest- 
ing fugitive slaves, the pov/er of transporting slav- 
ery over the whole Confederation, the duty of ex- 
tending indefinitely the domain of slavery. Who 
paid Walker ? Who continually recruited bands 
of adventurers to launch on Cuba or Central Amer- 
ica ? Who prepared the well-known lists of slave 



THE PRESENT CRISIS. 



119 



States witli wliicli tlie South counted on enricliing- 
itself : four States some day to be carved out of 
Texas, (the South had caused this to he authorized 
in advance,) three States to be created in the Island 
of Cuba, an indefinite number of States to be de- 
tached one after another from Central America and 
Mexico ? "Who clamorously demanded the reestab- 
lishment of the African slave trade, alone capable 
of peopling this vast extent, and of lowering the 
excessive price of the negroes supplied by the pro- 
ducing States ? The extreme South, which alone 
v/as concerned in this, sav/ gigantic vistas opening 
before it on v\diich it fastened with ecstasy. Kow, 
already, in spite of the more or less avowed support 
of Mr. Buchanan, its success w^as already checked, 
it felt itself provoked and thwarted. Henceforth, 
all its hopes were concentrated on the election of 
1860 : we may judge, therefore, of its disappoint- 
ment, and of the furious ardor with which it must 
have seized upon its last resource, namely, seces- 
sion, wdiich might prove in its hands either a 
means of terrifying the North, and of bringing it 
again under the j^oke, or of entering alone into a 
new destiny, of having elbow-room, and of devoting 
itself entirely to the propagation of slavery ! 

The facts are known ; I do not think of recount- 



120 



THE PJRESENÏ CKISIS. 



ing tliem. I content myself with remarking the 
enthusiasm which prevails in the majority of the 
cotton States. One could not commit suicide with 
a better grace. It is easy to recognize a country 
hermetically sealed to contradiction, which is en- 
chanted with itself, and which ends by accomplish- 
ing the most horrible deeds with a sort of conscien- 
tious rejoicing. The enthusiasm which is displayed 
in proclaiming secession, or in firing on the Ameri- 
can flag, is displayed in freeing the captain of a 
slaver, a noble martyr to the popular cause. There 
is something terrifying in the enthusiasm of evil 
passions. When I consider the folly of the South, 
which so heedlessly touches the match to the first 
cannon pointed against its confederates ; when I see 
it without hesitation give the signal for a war in 
which it runs the risk of perishing ; when I read 
its laws, decreeing the penalty of death against any 
one who shall attack the Palmetto State, and its 
dispatches, in which the removal of Major Ander- 
son is exacted, in the tone which a master employs 
toward a disobedient servant, I ask myself whether 
the present crisis could really have been evaded, 
and whether any thing less than a rude lesson could 
have opened eyes so obstinately closed to the light. 
People have taken in earnest the plans of the 



THE PRESENT CRISIS. 



121 



Southern Confederacy. Nothing conld be more 
imposing, in fact, if they had the least chance of 
success. The fifteen Southern States, abeady im- 
mense, joined to Mexico, Cuba, and Central Amer- 
ica — what a power this would be ! And, doubt- 
less, this power would not stop at the Isthmus of 
Panama : it would be no more difficult to reestab- 
lish slavery in Bolivia, on the Equator, and in 
Peru, than in Mexico. Thus the " patriarchal in- 
stitution" would advance to rejoin Brazil, and the 
dismayed eye would not find a single free spot upon 
w^hichtorest between Delaware Bay and the banks of 
the Uruguay. Furthermore, this colossal negro jail 
would be stocked by a no less colossal slave trade : 
barracoons would be refilled in Africa, slave expe- 
ditions would be organized on a scale hitherto un- 
known, and whole squadrons of slave ships (those 
" floating hells") would transport their cargoes 
under the Southern colors, proudly unfurled ; pa- 
triotic indignation would be aroused at the mere 
name of the right of search, and the whole world 
would be challenged to defend the liberty of the 
seas. 

Such is the project in its majestic unity. Such 
is the glorious ideal which the extreme South hoped 
to attain by its union with the North, and which it 
6 



122 



THE PRESENT CRISIS. 



now seeks to attain by its separation. The hearts 
of men beat high at the thought, and many are 
ready to give their lives lieroically in order to se- 
cure its realization. Alas ! we are thus made ; pas- 
sion excuses every thing, transfigures every thing. 

Each one feels instinctively, moreover, that no 
part of the plan can be separated from the whole ; 
that it must be great to be respected ; that to people 
this vast extent wdth slaves, the African slave trade 
is indispensable ; of course, they took care not to 
avow all this at the first moment ; it was necessary, 
in the beginning, to delude others, and perhaps 
themselves ; it was necessary to obtain recognition. 
On this account, the prudent politicians who have 
just drawn up the programme of the South, have 
been careful to record in it the prohibition of the 
African slave trade, and the disavowal of plans of 
conquest. But this does not prevent the necessities 
of the position from becoming known by and by. 
True programmes, adapted to the position of afi*airs, 
are not changed from day to day. I defy the slave 
States, provided their Confederation succeeds in 
existing, to do otherwise than seek to extend 
towards the South ; liemmed in on all sides by 
liberty, incessantly provoked by the impossibility 
of preventing the flight of their negroes, they will 



THE PRESENT CRISIS. 



123 



fall on tliose of their neighbors who are the least 
capable of resistance, and whose territory is most to 
their convenience. This fact is obvious, as it is also 
obvious that they will have recourse to the African 
slave trade to people these new possessions. It is 
in vain to deny it, on account of Europe, or of the 
border States ; the necessities will subsist, and, 
sooner or later, they will be obeyed. If the border 
States persist in deluding themselves on this j)oint, 
and fancy that they will always keep the monopoly 
of this infamous supply of negroes sold at enormous 
prices, this concerns them. In any case, the illusion 
will finally become dispelled. It is not in the nomi- 
nation of Jefferson Davis as President of the Con- 
federate States, that we are to look for the final re- 
pudiation of those projects of which this politic man 
is in some sort the living representative. 

And when they are renewed, we shall see an in' 
vincible obstacle rise up in the way of the realiza- 
tion of a plan so monstrous. As soon as the African 
slave trade is established, the domestic slave trade 
will cease, the revenues of the producing States will 
be suppressed, the price of negroes will fall every- 
where, and the fortunes of all the planters will fall 
in like j)roportion. Can it be possible that they will 
accept the chances of civil war, of insurrections, 



124 



THE PIŒSENT CKISIS, 



and of massacres, in order to ensure to themselves 
the rislc of ruin in case of success ? Can it be possi- 
ble, above all, that Europe Avill lend a hand, as we 
seem to imagine, to the most audacious attack ever 
directed against Christian civilization ? 

I know that we must always make allowance 
for probable perfidy, and I am far from dreaming, 
as times go, that chivalric Europe will refuse to 
serve her own interests because these interests would 
cost her principles something. Ifo, indeed, I imag- 
ine nothing of the sort ; yet I think that I should 
WTong the nineteenth century if I supposed it capa- 
ble of certain thino^s. There are sentiments which 
cannot be provoked beyond measure with impunity. 

Eemember the shudder that ran throuo:h the 
v\^orld when Texas, a free country, was transformed 
into slave territory as the result of the victory of 
the United States ; multiply the crime of Texas by 
ten, by twenty, and you will have a faint image of 
the impression of disgust that the Southern republic 
is about to call forth among us. 

It is important that they should know this in ad- 
vance at Charleston, and not delude themselves as 
to the kind of welcome for which the Palmetto State 
and its accomplices have to hope. 'Not only will 
no one recognize their pretended independence at 



THE PRESENT CRISIS. 



125 



this time, for to récognize it would be to tread un- 
der foot the evident rights of the United States, but 
they will excite one of those moral repulsions which 
the least scrupulous policy is forced to take into ac- 
count. It is one thing to hold slaves ; it is another 
to be founded expressly to serve the cause of sla- 
very on earth ; this is a new fact in the history of 
mankind. If a Southern Confederacy should ever 
take rank among nations, it will represent slavery, 
and nothing else. I am wrong ; it will also repre- 
sent the African slave trade, and the fiUibustering 
system. In any case, the Southern Confederacy will 
be so far identified with slavery, with its progress, 
with the measures designed to propagate and per- 
petuate it here below, that a chain and whip seem 
the only devices to be embroidered on its flag. 

Will tliisflag cover the human merchandise which 
it is designed to protect against the interference of 
cruisers ? Will there be a country, will there be a 
heart, forgetful enough of its dignity to tolerate this 
insolent challenge flung at our best sympathies ? 
I doubt it, and I counsel the Carolinians to doubt it 
also. The representative of England at Washington 
is said to have already declared that in presence of 
the slave trade thus practised, his government will 
not hesitate to pursue slavers into the very ports of 



126 



THE PKESEXT CRISIS. 



the South. France will hold no less firm a tone ; 
whatever may be the dissent as to the right of search, 
the o'ight of slave shijos^ be sure, will be admitted 
by none ; a sea-police will soon be found to put an 
end to them ; if need be, the punishment will be in- 
flicted on their crews that is in store for a much less 
crime, that of piracy ; these wretches will be hung 
with short shrift at the yard-arm, without form or 
fio-ure of law. 

o 

The Carolinians deceive themselves strangely. 
Tliey fancy that they will be treated with considera- 
tion, that they will even be protected, because they 
maintain the principle of free trade, and because 
they hold the great cotton market. Free trade, 
cotton, these are the two recommendations upon 
which they count to gain a welcome in Europe. 
Let us see what we are to think of this. 

I shall not be suspected in what I am about to 
say of free trade — I, who have always been its de- 
clared partisan ; I, who sustained it twenty years 
ago as candidate in the bosom of one of the electoral 
colleges of Paris, and who applauded unreservedly 
our recent commercial treaty with England ; but 
man does not live by bread alone, and if ever a 
school of commercial liberty should anywhere be 
found that should carry the adoration of its prin- 



TIIK PRESENT CFJSIS. 



127 



ciple so far as to sacrifice to it other and nobler 
liberties, a school disposed to set the question of 
cheai^ness above that of justice, and to extend a 
hand to whoever should offer it a channel of expor- 
tation, maledictions enough would not be found for 
it. Let England take care ; those who have no 
love for her, take delight in foretelling that her 
sympathies will be weighed in the balance with 
her interests, and that the protection of the ISTorth 
risks offending her much more than the slavery of 
the South. I am convinced that it will amount to 
nothing, and that we shall once more see how great 
is the influence of Christian sentiment among 
Englishmen. Should the reverse be true, we must 
veil our faces, and give over this vile bargaining, 
adorned with the name of free trade, to the full se- 
verity of public opinion. 

I repeat that it will amount to nothing. More- 
over, do not let us exaggerate either the protective 
instincts of the North or the free trade of the South. 
The new tariff just adopted at Washington (a grave 
error, assuredly, which I do not seek to palliate) 
may be amended in such a manner as to lose the 
character of prohibition with which certain States 
have sought to invest it. Let us not forget, that by 
the side of Pennsylvania, which urges the excessive 



12S 



TnE TKESE^'T CKISI5. 



increasG of taxes, the In ortli counts a considerable 
number of agricultural States, the interests of which 
are very different. X ott, these are the States which 
elected Mr. Lincoln, and which will henceforth 
have the most decisive wei^'ht on the destinies of 

o 

the Union. Wo mav be tranquil, the protective 
reaction which has just triumphed in part will not 
long be victorious. All liberties cling together : 
the liberty of commerce will have its day in the 
United States. 

But if all liberties cling together, all slaveries 
cling together also, and cannot be liberal at will, even 
in commercial matters. The Southern States plume 
themselves on being thus liberal, and it is sought to 
give them this reputation. Howe^ver, the facts are 
little in harmony with their brilliant programme. 
Far from proclaiming free trade, the Confederate" 
States, by a formal act adopted on the ISth of Feb- 
ruary, have maintained the tariff of 1S57. They 
have gone further : their Congress has just estab- 
lished a new and relatively heavy tax, which must 
burden the exportation of cotton. Tliis is not com- 
mercial liberty as I understand it. 

Is otwithstanding, the watchword has been given, 
the champions of slavery have skilfully organized 
their system of manœuvre in Europe, and it is de- 



THE PKE5ENÏ CBISIS. 129 ' 

veloping according to their wishes. To be indig- 
nant at the new tarifl", to speak only of the new 
tariff, to create by means of the new tariff a sort 
of i^opularity for the Southern republic — such is 
the end which they sought to attain. I doubt 
whether they have fully obtained it, although the 
South, I say it to our shame, has already succeeded 
in procuring friends and praisers among us. The 
factitious indignation will fall without doubt ; but 
cotton remains : at the bottom, the South counts 
much more upon cotton than free trade to bring 
the Old World into her interests. On rushing into 
a mad enterprise, all the perils of which, enraged 
as it was, it could not disguise, it said to itself that 
its cotton would protect it. Is it not the principal 
and almost the only producer of a raw" material, 
without which the manufactures of the whole 
world would stand still ? Are there not millions of 
workmen in England (one-sixth of the whole popu- 
lation !) who live by the manufacture of cotton ? 
Is not the wealth of Great Britain founded on cot- 
ton, which alone furnishes four-fifths of its exported 
manufactures ? All this is true, and they are not 
ignorant of it at Manchester. îs"otwithstanding, 
what happened there the other day ? An immense 
meeting was convoked for the purpose of carefully 
6* 



130 



THE PRESENT CKISIS. 



examining tlie great cotton business, and the perils 
created by the present crisis. I do not know that 
among these manufacturers, knowing that their in- 
terests were menaced, that among these workmen, 
knowing that their means of livelihood were at 
stake, that from the heart of this country, knowing 
that want, famine, and insurrections might come to 
her door, there arose a voice, a single one, to ad- 
dress a word of sympathy to the Southern States, 
and to promise them the slightest support. It was 
because there was something transcending manufac- 
turing suj) plies, and even the bread of families : the 
need, I am glad to state, of protesting against cer- 
tain crimes. Instead of extending a hand to the 
secessionists of Charleston, the English manufac- 
turers resolutely laid the foundation of a vast so- 
ciety, destined to develop on the spot the produc- 
tion of cotton by free labor in India, the Antilles, 
and Africa. Such was their answer ; and if you 
knew their most secret thoughts, you would have 
no difficulty in discovering that the ambition of 
the South, its turbulent policy, and its aggressions 
without pretext, are far from exciting the gratitude 
of English commerce, or of inspiring its confidence. 

Every one in England comprehends that, from 
the standpoint of interest, the separation of the 



THE PKESENT CRISIS. 



131 



South is a mortal blow dealt to tlio cotton produc- 
tion, which will henceforth have the aid neither of 
credit nor entrepots, and which is advancing tow- 
ards catastrophes which may involve a conflict of 
arms. From another and higher standpoint, the 
public opinion of England has not made us wait for 
its verdict : already its abolition societies have re- 
gained life and begun their movements ; already, 
under the pressure of the universal feeling, the 
Court of Queen's Bench has revised the affair of 
the negro Anderson, to deliver into the strong 
hands of the metropolis a question before which 
the judicial authority of Canada hesitated, and to 
pronounce at length a verdict of acquittal. 

The South has taken account in its calculations 
neither of man nor God. God especially seems to 
have been forgotten, though it placed itself for- 
mally under his protection. Who does not shudder 
at the enunciation of these unheard-of plans : we 
will do this, then we will do that ; we will hold 
England through cotton, we will entice France 
through influence — we will have many negroes, 
much produce, and much money ! And what will 
God think of it? Everywhere else but in South 
Carolina, this question would appear formidable 
beyond expression. 



132 



THE PRESENT CKISI8. 



If the Soutli has taken its wishes for realities in 
Enrope, it has committed the same error in Amer- 
ica. Its secession has some chance (and what a 
chance !) only on condition of drawing in all the 
slave States without exception ; now it seems by 
no means probable that snch a unanimity, stip- 
posing it to be gained by surprise, could ever be 
maintained successfully. The negro-raising States 
could not possibly regard tlie future in the same 
light as the consuming States. Their revenues arc 
based on the value of the domestic slave trade, which 
bears no resemblance to that of the African slave 
trade. Ask Yirginia or Maryland long to sustain a 
policy, the result of which would be to lower the 
price of her slaves in one day from a thousand dol- 
lars to two cents ! This is so clearly felt in the 
extreme South, that the provisional constitution, 
adopted at Montgomery, is drawn up with an ex- 
press view to reassuring the producing States on 
this point. They are afraid of the Afi-ican slave 
trade ! It shall not be reopened. They are anxious 
to sell their negroes ! They shall be bought only 
of those States forming part of the Southern Con- 
federacy. It belongs to them to ask now whether 
this Montgomery constitution, adopted for a year, 
really guarantees any thing to them, and whether 



THE FRESENT CRISIS. 



133 



it is possible that an attempt will not be made to 
revive the African slave trade, provided the South- 
ern Confederacy succeeds in enduring. However 
this may be, they are held apart by so many causes, 
that they would only imite to-day to separate to- 
morrow. I know well that the passions of slavery 
rule in many of the border States, especially in 
Virginia, as violently as in the extreme South. I 
do not disguise from myself that the habit of sus- 
taining a deplorable cause in common has created 
between the border and the cotton States a bond 
of long standing and difficult to break. But I say 
this : the impulses of the first hour will have their 
morrov/ ; when the frontier States witness the 
commencement of those territorial invasions which 
must necessarily bring the African slave trade in 
their train ; when they know what reliance to place 
on the fine promises made to-day to attract them ; 
when they perceive that in separating from the 
I^orth, they themselves have removed the sole ob- 
stacle in the way of the flight of all their slaves ; 
when, in fine, they feel weighing upon them, and 
them first, the perils of an armed struggle and a 
negro insurrection, they will listen perhaps to those 
of their citizens who, even now, are urging them to 
turn to the side of justice — of justice and of safety. 



13i 



thî: present crisis. 



By the fewness of their slaves, by the nature of 
their climate, which resembles that of Marseilles 
and Montpellier, by the kind of cultivation to which 
their country is adapted, by the number of manu- 
factures which are be^-inninc: to be established 
among them, it seems as if they must be led, or, at 
least, some day led bach, to the policy of imion. 
This is no discovery : the seceded States know it 
already ; they form a separate band. America has 
not forgotten the retreat of the seven, which, a few 
months ago, dismembered the Democratic Conven- 
tion assembled at Charleston. These seven were 
South Carolina, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Ar- 
kansas, Texas, and Louisiana ; in other words, all 
those States which were the first to vote for seces- 
sion. The same list, with the addition of Georgia 
and ÎS ortli Carolina, appeared again on the day of 
the Presidential election : these nine States alone 
adopted Mr. Breckenridgo as their candidate. 

Here, then, is a profound distinction, which at- 
taches to interests and tendencies, which has mani- 
fested itself already, which will manifest itself more 
and more, and w^hich will work, sooner or later, the 
salvation of the United States. The border States 
cannot unite with the cotton States definitively. 
They gave proofs of this in the last election. Five 



THE PRESENT CRISIS. 



135 



among tliem, Tennessee, Kentucky, Delaware, Vir- 
ginia, and Maryland, at that time took an interme- 
diate position by making an intermediate clioice : 
Mr. Bell. Without going so far, Missouri protested 
at least against the nomination of Mr. Breckenridge 
by casting its vote for Mr. Douglas. Better than 
this, a declared adversary of slavery, Mr. Blair, 
was elected representative by this same slave State, 
Missouri, on the day before the balloting for the 
presidency ; and on the next day his friends voted 
openly for Mr. Lincoln, while no one dared annul 
their votes, as had been done four years before. 
Mr. Lincoln thus obtained fifteen thousand votes 
in Missouri, four thousand in Delaware, fifteen hun- 
dred in Maryland, a thousand in Kentucky, and as 
many in Virginia.* The figures are nothing ; the 
symptom is significant. The slave States of this in- 
termediate region contain in their bosom, therefore, 
men who do not fear to attack the " patriarchal in- 
stitution." Have we not just seen a Republican 
committee acting at Baltimore, in the midst of Ma- 
ryland ? Has not this same Maryland just rejected, 
by the popular vote, the infamous law which its 
legislature had adopted, and by virtue of which free 
negroes who should not quit the State would be 
reduced by right to slavery ? When I remember 



136 



THE PKESEXT CRISIS. 



these facts, so important and so recent, I compre- 
hend how it is that a Kentiickian holds the South 
at bay behind the menaced walls of Fort Sum- 
ter, and how the cabinet of Mr. Lincoln has minis- 
ters in its midst, who belong to the border States. 

Peoj)le take the peculiar situation of the border 
States too little into account in looking into the fu- 
ture which is preparing for America. Tliej persist 
in j)resenting to us two great confederacies, and, in 
some sort, two United States, called to divide the 
continent. If any thing like this could occur, it 
could not endure. Doubtless, there are hours of 
vertigo from which we may look for every thing, 
even the impossible ; and, who knows ? perhaps the 
impossible most of all ; nevertheless, the border 
States cannot attach themselves forever to a cause 
which is not their own. By the side of the mani- 
festations which have taken place in Virginia and 
South Carolina, we have already a right to cite 
demonstrations of a different kind. Has not Missouri 
just decided prudently, that, in the matter of sepa- 
ration, the decisions of her legislature shall not be 
valid until ratified by the whole people ? Tliis little 
resembles the eagerness with which States else- 
where rush into secession. It is therefore probable 
that the United States will keep or soon bring back 



THE PKESENT CRISIS, 



137 



into their bosom a considerable number of the bor- 
der States. By their side, the gulf States will at- 
tempt to form a rival nation, aspiring to grow 
towards the South. Such is the true extent of the 
separation that is preparing. 

Suppose these projects to become, some day, 
realities, we may ask wdiether a real weakening of 
the United States w^oiild be the result. Suppose 
even that another secession, based on different mo- 
tives, which nothing foretells at present, should take 
place beyond the Eocky Mountains ; suppose that 
a Pacific republic should some day be founded, 
would the American Confederation have reason to 
be greatly troubled at witnessing the formation on 
her sides of the association of the gulf States, Cali- 
fornia, and Oregon ? Look at a map, and you will 
see that the valley of the Mississippi, and of the 
lakes, and the shores of the Atlantic, are not neces- 
sarily connected either wdth the Gulf of Mexico, 
(save the indispensable outlet at New Orleans,) or 
the regions beyond the great desert and the Eocky 
Mountains, the land of the Mormons and the gold- 
diggers. Unity is not always the absolute good, 
and it may be that progress must come through dis- 
ruption. Who knows whether instantaneous seces- 
Bion would not perform the mission of resolving 



138 



THE PRESENT CRISIS. 



certain problems otherwise insoluble ? Who knows 
whether slavery must not disappear in this wise in 
the very effort that it makes to strengthen itself 
throngh isolation ? "Who knows whether it is not 
important to the prosperity and real power of the 
United States to escape from theories of territorial 
monopoly, those evil counsellors but too much 
heeded ? Who knows, in fine, whether the day will 
not come, when, the questions of slavery once set- 
tled, new federal ties will again bind to the centre 
the parts that stray from it to-day ? 

I put these questions ; I make no pretensions to 
resolve them. In any case, the imagination has 
had full scope for some time past. People have not 
been satisfied with the Southern Confederacy ; have 
they not invented both the pretended Pacific Con- 
federacy which I have just mentioned, and the 
central Confederacy, in which the border States 
will take shelter in common with tw^o or three free 
States, as Pennsylvania and Indiana ? Have they 
not supposed, in the bargain, (for they seem to 
find it necessary to discover the dissolution of the 
Union everywhere at all costs,) that the agricultural 
population of the West, discontented with the tariff 
recently adopted, and putting in practice the new 
maxim, according to which they are to have re- 



THE PRESENT CRISIS. 



139 



course to separation, instead of pursuing reforms, 
will seek an asylum in Canada ? I need not discuss 
such fables. I am convinced, for my part, tliat the 
principle of American unity is much more solid 
than people affirm ; I see in the United States a 
single race, and almost a single family : they may 
divide, they will not cease to be related. Tlie rela- 
tionship will take back its rights. For the time, 
however, secession seems to have a providential 
part to enact. It facilitates, in certain respects, 
the first steps of Mr. Lincoln ; thanlcs to it, the hos- 
tile majority in the Senate is blotted out, the imcer- 
tainty of the House of Representatives is decided, 
the Government becomes possible. In the face of 
the senators and representatives of the gulf States, 
I do not see how Mr. Lincoln could have succeeded 
in acting. Did not the Senate, last year, adopt the 
proposition of Mr. Jefferson Davis in opposition to 
the liberty of the Territories ? Congress would have 
trammelled, one after another, all the measures of 
the new administration. Now, on the contrary, the 
rôle of the victorious party will be easy ; its pre- 
ponderance is assured in both Houses ; the Supreme 
Court will cease, ere long, to represent the doctrines 
of the extreme South, and to issue Dred Scott de- 
crees. This is a vast change. General Cass, in 



140 THE PRESENT CRISIS. 

truth, comprehended the interests of slavery better 
than Mr. Buchanan, ^vhcn he demanded that the 
GoYernment should arrest with vigor from the be- 
ginning the faintest wish of separation. 



PROBABLE C0KSEQUE]SrCE8 OF THE CKISIS. 14.1 



CHAPTEE YIII. 

PROBABLE CONSEQUENCES OF THE CEISIS. 

General Cass was nearer right tlian lie himself 
imagined. In arresting from the beginning the de- 
velopment of the plans of the South, by a vigorous 
attitude, and by the blockade, then easy, of Charles- 
ton, the Government would not only have rendered 
it the trifling service of maintaining its means of 
opposition in Congress, but also the inappreciable 
boon of averting the dangers of w^ar. What has 
happened, on the contrary ? Precisely what must 
have happened, the human heart being such as it is. 
"When on one side is found all the ardor, all the ac- 
tivity, all the resolution, and, into the bargain, all 
the apparent success, while on the other is found 
languor, hesitation, inaction, and disgraceful delays, 
it happens almost infallibly that the undecided are 
hurried away by the fanatics. 

Let the United States take care ! the chances of ' 



142 PROBABLE CONSEQUENCES OF THE CRISIS. 

tlie future incur the risk, at tliis moment, of becom- 
ing more grave. To-day, the border States are on 
the ]3oint of declaring themselves ; to-day, in conse- 
quence, it is important to offer to their natural ir- 
resolution the support of a policy as firm as moder- 
ate. Given over without defence to the ardent 
solicitations of the extreme South, they are only too 
likely to yield, particularly if the Federal Govern- 
ment give them reason to believe that the separation 
will encomiter no serious obstacle. 

We must remember that ignorant comnmnities 
are here in question, who are ruled by their preju- 
dices, and who have never tolerated the slightest 
show of discussion upon questions connected witli 
the subject of slavery. Such commnnities are ca- 
pable of committing the most egregious follies ; 
panics, sudden resolutions, mistaken nnanimities, 
are common among them. Formerly, kings were 
pitied who lived surrounded by flatterers, it w^as 
said (we have provided against that) that the truth 
never reached them ; the planters are the only men 
I see to-day that can be likened to these mon- 
archs of olden time; neither books, nor journals, 
nor preachers, are permitted to point out to them 
their duties or their interests in the matter of 
slavery. 



PKOBABLE CONSEQUENCES OF THE CRISIS. 143 

The slightest symptom of inertia or of feebleness 
in the Federal Government at this time, will, there- 
fore, exj)ose the border States to great perils, and, 
through them, the whole Confederation. As easy 
as it w^onld have been, with a little energy, to pre- 
vent the evil, to confine secession within its natm^al 
limits, and to weaken the chances of civil w^ar, so 
difficult has it become, at present, to attain the same 
end. -Painful duties, perhaps, will be imposed on 
Mr. Lincoln. I wonder, in truth, at the politicians 
who advise him to a masterly inactivity," that is, 
who urge him to continue Mr. Buchanan ! Doubt- 
less he does right to leave to the insurgents all the 
odium of acting on the offensive, but his moderation 
should detract nothing from his firmness, and it is 
even of importance that the means of action which 
he is about to prepare, should manifest so clearly 
the overwhelming superiority of the North, that * 
the resistance of the South will be thereby dis- 
couraged. 

Adversaries of slavery are not wanting, who are 
almost indignant at the adoption of such measures 
by the new President. Did they fancy then that a 
formidable question could be resolved without risk- 
ing the repression of the assaults of force by force ? 
Away with childishness ! In electing Mr. Lincoln, 



144 PROBABLE CONSEQUENCES OF THE CRISIS. 



it was known that the cotton States were ready to 
protest with arms in their hands ; he was not elect- 
ed to receive orders from the cotton States, or to 
sign the dissolution of the United States on the first 
requisition. Who wills the end, wills the means. 
"No one, certainly, desires, more than myself, the 
peaceful repression of the rebellion. May the success 
of the blockade render the employment of the army 
useless ! May the resolute attitude of the Confeder- 
ation arrest the majority of the intermediate States 
on the dangerous declivity upon which they are 
standing ! Once let them be drawn into the circle 
of influence of the extreme South, and little chance 
will remain of confining the civil war within the 
limits beyond which it is so important that it should 
not spread. 

Then will appear the h^reprcssihle conflict of Mr. 
Seward. "Whether desired or not, if the two Con- 
federations are placed side by side, the one repre- 
senting all the slavery, the other representing all 
the liberty, the conflict will take place. It will 
take place perhaps now, perhaps a little later; 
however this may be, no one will have the power 
to hinder it. Suppose the South, thus completed, 
relinquish (and nothing is less certain) the open- 
ing by itself of a war in which it must perish, 



PROBABLE CONSEQUENCES OF THE CRISIS. 145 

and its great plans of attack, against Washington, 
for instance, be abandoned ; suppose the United 
States, on their side, avoid a direct attack, which 
would give the signal for insurrections ; suppose 
they limit themselves to purely maritime repression 
of the revolt ; that, after striking off the Southern 
harbors from the list of seaports, and declaring that 
custom-house duties cannot be legally paid there, 
they maintain this blockade, which Europe should 
applaud ; would they have averted all chances 
of conflict ? No ; alas ! However temporary such 
a situation might be, complaints, recriminations, 
and, ere long, violent reprisals, would be seen every- 
where arising. Rivalries of principles, rivalries 
of interests, bitter memories of past injuries, such 
are the rocks on which peaceful policy w^ould be in 
continual danger of shipwreck. 

We must not cherisli illusions ; the chances of 
civil war have been increasing for a few weeks past 
with fearful rapidity. If Mr. Lincoln has confined 
himself scrupulously to conservative and defensive 
measures, there has been, on the contrary, in the 
actions of the South, a violent precipitation which 
has surpassed all expectancy. It is the haste of 
skilful men, who attempt by a bold stroke to carry 
off the advantages of a deed accomplished ; it is at 
7 



146 PROBABLE CONSEQUENCES OF THE CKISIS. 

the same time, and cliiefly, perhaps, the haste of 
men who have nothing to lose, the ringleaders of 
the present honr. At the end of resomxes, the in- 
sm-gent South has already increased its taxes inor- 
dinately ; it has killed public and private credit ; it 
has created a disturbed revolutionary condition, in- 
tolerable in the end, which no longer permits delib- 
eration, or even reflection. Will the South pause 
on such a road ? It is difiicult to hope it. As to 
the North, its plan of action is very simple, and 
easily maintained : suj)pose even that through im- 
possibility it should give over forcing the rebels 
back to their duty, who can ever imagine that it 
would suffer itself to be dej3rived of the mouths of 
the Mississippi, or that it would abandon to the rival 
Confederacy the capital itself of the Union, inclosed 
within the slave States ? Let us see things as they 
are : the maintenance and development of slavery 
in the South will render the abolitionist proceedings 
of its neighbor intolerable in its eyes ; if it has not 
been able to endure a contradiction accompanied 
with infinite circumspection, and tempered by many 
prudent disclaimers, how will it support this daily 
torture, a unanimous and well-founded censure, a 
perpetual denunciation of the infamies which accom- 
pany and constitute the ''patriarchal institution ? 



PROBABLE CONSEQUENCES OF THE CRISIS. 147 

The North, on its side, will be unable to forget that, 
by the act of the South, without reason or pretext, 
the glorious unity of the nation has been broken ; 
that the star-spangled banner has been rent in 
twain ; that the commercial prosperity of America 
has been shaken at the same time with its greatness. 
Let one of those incidents then occur, that are con- 
stantly arising, a Southern slave ship stopped on 
the high seas by the North, a negotiation of the 
South threatening to introduce Europe into the 
affairs of the New World, and directly hostilities 
will break out. 

What they will be, I scarcely dare imagine. If 
the planters are forced, at present, to mount guard 
day and night, to prevent the insurrectionary move- 
ments that are constantly ready to break out on 
their estates ; if many families are already sending 
their women and children into safer countries ; what 
will it be when the arrival of the forces of the North 
shall announce to the slaves tliat the hour of deliv- 
erance has sounded ? It will be in vain to deny it ; 
their arrival will always signify this in the sight 
of the South. There are certain facts, the popular 
interpretation of which ends by being the true in- 
terpretation. I have no doubt that the generals of 
the United States, before attacking the Southern 



148 PROBABLE CONSEQUENCES OF THE CRISIS. 

Confederacy, will recommend to tlie negroes to re- 
main at peace, and will disavow and condemn acts 
of violence ; but wliat is a manifesto against the 
reality of things and the necessity of situations? 
There is a word that I see written in large letters 
everywhere in the projects of the South — yes, the 
word catastrophe is to be read there in every line. 
The first successes of the South are a catastrophe ; 
the greatness of the South will be a catastrophe ; 
and, if the South ever realize in part the iniquitous 
hopes towards which it is rushing, the catastrophe 
will acquire unheard-of proportions ; it will be a St. 
Domingo carried to the tenth power. 

One cannot, with impunity, give full scope to 
his imagination, and, in the year of our Lord 1861, 
set to work to contrive the plan of a Confederacy 
designed to protect and to propagate slavery. These 
things will be avenged sooner or later. Ah ! if the 
South knew how important it is that it should not 
succeed, if it comprehended that the North has 
been hitherto its great, its only guarantee ! This is 
literally true ; a slave country, above all, to-day, 
needs to be backed up by a free country to ensure 
the subsistence of an institution contrary to nature ; 
otherwise the first accident, the first war, gives it 
over to perils that make us shudder. Thanks to 



PROBABLE COI^SEQUENCES OF THE CRISIS. 149 

tlieir metropolises, our colonies were able first to 
keep, and afterwards to enfranchise their slaves, 
without succumbing to the task. But let a South- 
ern Confederacy come, in which the immigration of 
the whites will be naught, while the increase of the 
blacks will be pursued in all ways, and, in case of suc- 
cess, the moment will soon arrive when many States 
will see themselves placed, as is the case already 
with South Carolina, in presence of a number of 
slaves exceeding that of free men. Such a social 
monstrosity never existed under the sun ; even in 
Greece, even in Home, even among the Mussul- 
mans, the total number of free men remained su- 
perior ; the colonies alone, through the effect of the 
slave trade, presented an inverse phenomenon, and 
the colonies were consolidated with their metropo- 
lises in the same manner that the States of the South 
are consolidated with those of the North. 

In this will be found, I repeat, a most important 
guarantee. The South in rejecting it, and imagining 
itself able alone to maintain a situation which will 
become graver day by day, deludes itself most 
strangely. At the hour of peril, when servile in- 
surrection perhaps shall ravage its tei*ritory, it will 
be astonished to find itself left alone in the presence 
of its enemy. 



150 PKOBABLE CONSEQUENCES Oî TUE CEISIS. 

And this enemy is not one that can be conquered 
once for all. Even after the victory, even in times 
of peace, the threat of servile insurrection will ever 
remain suspended over the head of the Southern 
Confederacy ; it will be necessary always to watch, 
always to be on the guard, always to repress, and, 
to tell the truth, always to tremble. The planters, 
whether they know it or not, are not preparing to 
sleep on a bed of roses. To labor to accomplish an 
iniquitous work amidst the maledictions of the uni- 
verse, to increase their estates and their slaves un- 
der penalty of death, and to feel instinctively that 
they will die for having increased them, to tremble 
because of European hostility, to tremble because 
of American hostility, to tremble because of hostil- 
ity from without and within — what a life ! That 
one might accept it in the service of a noble cause, 
I can comprehend ; but the cause of the South ! In 
truth, this would be taking great pains for small 
wages. 

The South inspires me with profound com- 
passion. We have told it, much too often, that its 
Confederacy was easy to found. To found, yes ; to 
make lasting, no. Here, it is not the first step that 
costs — it is tlie second, it is the third. The South- 
ern Confederacy is not viable. Let us suppose that, 



PROBABLE CONSEQUENCES OF THE CRISIS. l5l 

to its misfortune, it has succeeded in all that it lias 
just undertaken: Charleston is free, the border 
States are drawn in, there is a new federal compact 
and a new President, the Northern States liave of ne- 
cessity abandoned the suppression of the insurrec- 
tion by force, Europe has surmounted its repugnance 
and received the envoys of the great Slave republic. 
All questions seem resolved ; but no, not a single 
one has attained its solution. 

The policy of the South must have its applica- 
tion. Its first article, whether it declares it or not, 
exacts conquests, the absorption of Mexico, for ex- 
ample. The fillibusters of Walker are still ready to 
set out, and the first moment past, when the ques- 
tion is to appear discreet, it is scarcely probable 
that they will meet wâth much restraint, now thai 
the prudence of the North is no longer at hand to 
jcounterbalance the passions of Slavery. 

Admit that this enterprise bring no difiicult 
complications. For these new territories, the ques- 
tion will be to procure negroes. The second article 
of the Southern policy will find then nolens volens^ 
its inevitable application : the African slave trade 
-will be re-established. The richest planter of 
Georgia, Mr. Goulden, has taken care to set forth 
its necessity ; mark the language which he held 



152 PROBABLE CONSEQUENCES OF THE ClilSlS. 

lately : " You have hardly negroes enough for the 
existing States ; obtain the opening of the slave 
trade, then you can undertake to increase the num- 
ber of slave States." 

"Will the official re-opening of the slave trade be 
some day effected without bringing on a storm 
which will destroy the new Confederacy ? I can- 
not say. In any case, I know one thing: that the 
value of the slaves, and consequently that of South- 
ern property, will experience a decline greatly ex- 
ceeding that by which it is now threatened, as it is 
said, by the abolition tendencies of the North. Al- 
ready, through the mere fact of secession, the price of 
negroes has diminished one-half; and more than one 
intelligent planter foresees the time when this price 
shall have diminished three-fourths, perhaps nine- 
tenths. Southern fortunes are falling oflf, therefore, 
with extreme rapidity, and this arises not only from 
the anticipated effects of the slave trade, but also 
from the certainty of being unable henceforth to put 
a stop to the escape of the slaves. These escapes, 
taken all in all, remained insignificant, so long as 
the Union was maintained ; there are not more than 
fifty thousand free negroes in Canada. But hence- 
forth the Southern Confederacy will have a Canada 
everywhere on its frontiers. How retain that slavery 



PROBABLE CONSEQUENCES OF THE CFwISIS. 153 

that will escape simultaneously on the North and 
the South? The Southern republic will be as it 
were the common enemy, and no one assuredly will 
aid it to keep its slaves. 

It must not be believed, moreover, that it will 
succeed long in preserving itself from intestine 
divisions — divisions among the whites. If, at the 
first moment, when every thing is easy, unanimity 
is far from appearing as complete as had been fore- 
told, it will, later, be much worse. "We shall then 
perceive how prophetic, if I may dare say so, were 
the often-quoted words of Washington's farewell ad- 
dress : ''It is necessary that you should accustom 
yourselves to regard the Union as the palladium of 
your happiness and your security ; that you should 
watch over it with a jealous eye ; that you should 
impose silence on any who shall ever dare counsel 
you to renounce it ; that you should give vent to 
all your indignation on the first effort that shall be 
attempted to detach from the whole any part of 
the Confederation." 

A very different voice, that of Jefferson, spoke 
the same language. A Southern man, addressing 
himself to the South, which talked already of se- 
ceding, he described in thrilling words the inevi- 
table consequences of such an act : " If, to rid our- 
7^- 



loi PROBABLE CONSEQUENCES OF THE CRISIS. 



selves of the present supremacy of Massachusetts 
and Connecticut, we were to break up the Union, 
would the trouble stop there? . . . We should 
soon see a Pennsylvanian party and a Yirginian 
party forming in what remained of the Confedera- 
tion, and the same party -spirit w^ould agitate j)ublic 
ojDinion. By what new weapons would these par- 
tics be armed, if they had power to threaten each 
other continually with joining their Northern neigh- 
bors, in case things did not go on in such or such a 
manner ! If we were to reduce our Union to North 
Carolina and Virginia, the conflict would break out 
again directly between the representatives of these 
two States ; we should end by being reduced to 
simple unities." 

Is not this the anticipated history of what is 
about to happen in the Southern Confederacy, sup- 
posing it to succeed in uniting with a part of the 
border States ? Tlie opening programme will 
last as long as programmes usually do. When 
the true plan of the South, veiled for a moment, 
shall reappear, (and it must indeed reappear, un- 
less it perishes before it has begun to exist ;) 
when the question shall be to increase and be peo- 
pled, to make conquests and to reestablish the Af- 
rican slave trade ; when the serious purpose, in a 



PROBABLE CONSEQUENCES OF THE CRISIS. 155 

word, shall have replaced the purpose of ckcum^ 
stance, what will take place between the border 
States and the cotton States? The profound dis- 
tinction which exists between them will then man- 
ifest itself, even if it does not break forth before. 
A new South and a new North will be formed, as 
hostile perhaps as the old, and less forgiving tow- 
ards each other of their mutual faults, inasmuch as 
they will be embittered by misfortune. Nothing 
divides people like a bad cause that turns out 
badly. They think themselves united, they call 
themselves united, until the moment when they 
discover that they have neither the same end nor 
the same mind. I do not see why the victory of 
Mr. Lincoln will have transformed the South, and 
suppressed the divergencies which separated it into 
two groups : that of the Gulf States voting for Mr. 
Breckenridge, that of the border States voting for 
Mr. Douglas or Mr. Bell, and even casting ballots 
for Mr. Lincoln. 

Not only will the Gulf States, the only true se- 
cessionists, never act in concert with the border 
States, but they will not be long in seeing parties 
spring up in their own bosom, which will be little 
disposed to come to terms. A sort of feudal ques- 
tion, as is well known, is near obtaining a position 



156 PROBABLE CONSEQUENCES OF THE CRISIS. 

in the Soutli ; the foor whites there are two or 
three times as immerous as the planters. Hie 
struggle of classes mar, therefore, breah out as 
soon as the effected secession shall have banished 
to the second rank the struggle against the adver- 
saries 'of slavery. 

Tlie impoverishment of the South will not aid 
in calming its intestine quarrels. European immi- 
gration, already so meagre in the slave States, 
(Charleston is the only large American city whose 
population has decreased, according to the last cen- 
sus,) European immigration, I say, will evidently 
diminish still more when the South shall have taken 
an independent and hostile position opposite the 
I^ortliern States. "Who will g(5 then to expose him- 
self lightly to the fearful chances which the first 
war with any country, American or European, may 
bring in its train ? And credit will go the same 
way as immigration : to lend money to planters, 
whose entire property is continually menaced with 
destruction, is one of those hazardous operations 
from which commerce is accustomed to recoil. 
Deprived of the capital furnished it by ÎTew York, 
obtaining only with great difficulty a few onerous 
and precarious advances in Europe, the South will 
see itself smitten at once in all its means of produc- 



PKOBABLE CONSEQUENCES OF THE CKISIS. 157 

tion ; and, after the harvest of 1860, which secures 
our supplies of cotton for a year, it is difficult to 
divine how it will set about continuing its culti- 
vation. At the same time that it will produce 
less cotton, and that we shall lose the habit of 
buying of it, the cotton culture will become accli- 
mated elsewhere ; the future will thus be destroyed 
like the present ; final ruin will approach with hasty 
strides. 

They tell us of a loan that the new Confeder- 
acy designs to contract ! Unless it be transformed 
into a forced loan, I have little faith in its chance. 
They add that it will be only necessary to estab- 
lish on exported cotton a duty of a few cents per 
pound, and the coffers of the South will be filled. 
But, in the first place, to export cotton, they must 
produce it — they must have money ; it is almost 
impossible that the State should be rich when all 
its citizens are in distress ; then the exportation 
itself will be exposed to some difficulties if the 
United States organize a blockade. And I say 
nothing of the bad effect that will be produced 
by this tax à la Turque — this tax on exportation 
in the very midst of plans of commercial freedom. 
Neither do I speak of the eô'ect which this extra 
charge, which is termed trifling, but which is, in 



158 PROBABLE JONSEQUENCES OF THE CRISIS. 



fact, considerable, will have on tlie sale of American 
cotton, already so defective, ^vlien compared "^'itli 
the average price of other cottons. 

Poor country, which blind passion, and, above 
all, indomitable pride, precipitates into the path of 
crime and misery ! Poor, excommunicated nation, 
whose touch will be dreaded, whose flag will be 
suspected, whose continually increasing humilia- 
tions will not even be compensated by a few mea- 
gre profits ! The heart is oppressed at the thought 
of the clear, certain, inevitable future, which awaits 
so many men, less guilty than erring. Between 
them and the rest of the world there will be noth- 
ing longer in common ; they will establish on their 
frontier a police overbooks and journals, essaying 
to prevent the fatal introduction of an idea of lib- 
erty : the rest of the world will have for them nei- 
ther political sympathies, nor moral sympathies, 
nor religious sympathies. 

Will they at least have the consolation of having 
killed the United States ? Will a glorious confed- 
eration have perished by their retreat? Ko, a 
thousand times no. Even though they should suc- 
ceed in drawing the border States into the Southern 
Confederacy, the United States, thank God'! will 
keep their rank among nations. "Where will the 



PROBABLE CONSEQUENCES OF THE CRISIS. 159 

United States be after secession ? Where they were 
before; for a long time the gravitation of their 
power has been tending towards the Northwest. 
Tlie true America is there, that of ancient traditions, 
and that of present reality. If any serious fears 
might have been conceived as to its duration, they 
disappeared on the day of the election of Mr. Lin- 
coln. On that day, we all learned that the United 
States would subsist, and that their malady was not 
mortal. 

Great news was tliis ! Did you ever ask your- 
self how much would be missing liere on earth if 
such a people should disappear? It lives and it 
will live. Look at the calm and confident air of the 
North, and compare it with the noisy violence of 
the South. The North is so sure of itself that it 
does not deign either to become angered, or to has- 
ten ; it even carries this last to extremes. It has 
the air of knowing that, in spite of the apparent 
successes w^hicli may mark the first efforts of the 
South, the final success must be elsewhere. Let 
the South take care ! to have against it both riglit 
and might is twice as much as is needed to be 
beaten. The North supported Mr. Buchanan be- 
cause it was awaiting Mr. Lincoln. Mr. Lincoln 
came, the North still has patience, but will end 



160 PROBABLE CONSEQUENCES OF THE CRISIS. 



by falling into line, and the serious strnggle will 
begin, in case of need. 

Tlie issue of this struggle can scarcely be doubt- 
ful. On one side, I see a confederacy divided, im- 
poverished, bending under the weight of a crushing 
social problem, seeing constantly on its horizon the 
menace of insurrections and of massacres, imable 
either to negotiate, or to draw the sword, or to re- 
solve any of the diflSculties from without, without 
thinking of the still more formidable difficulties from 
within ; on the other side, I see the United States, 
masters of themselves, unanimous, knowing what 
they want, and placing at the service of a noble 
cause, a power which is continually increasing. 

Tlie match will not be equal. I cannot help 
believing, therefore, that the triumph of the Xorth 
will be even much more complete than we imagine 
to-day. I do not know what is to happen, but this 
I know : the Korth is more populous, richer, more 
united; European immigration goes only to the 
!N'orth, European capital goes only to the North. 
Of what elements is the population of the South 
composed? The first six States that proclaimed 
their separation number exactly as "many slaves as 
freemen. What a position ! Is it probable indeed 
that this confederation contrary to nature, in which 



PROBABLE CONSEQUENCES OF THE CRISIS. 161 

each white will be charged with guarding a black, 
can afford a long career? The South, divided, 
iveakened, bearing in its side the continually bleed- 
ing w^ound of slavery, reduced to choose in the end 
between the direful plans which must destroy after 
having dishonored it, and the Union wliich consoli- 
dates its interests wdiile thwarting its passions — is 
it possible that the South will not return to the 
Union ? 

Something tells me that if the Union be dis- 
solved, it will be formed again. A lasting separation 
is more difficult than is imagined. Face to face 
with Europe, face to face with the United States, 
the great republic of the South would find it too 
difficult to live. To live at peace is impossible ; to 
live without peace is not to be thought of. The 
great Southern republic must perish surely by its 
failure, and still more surely by its success, for 
this monstrous success will draw down its destruc- 
tion. There is in America a necessity, as it w^ere, of 
union. Unity is at the foundation, diversity is only 
on the surface; unity is bound up with the national 
life itself, with race, origin, belief, common destiny, 
a like degree of civilization, in a word, with pro- 
found and permanent causes ; diversity proceeds 
from the accidents of institutions. 



162 PROBABLE CONSEQUENCES OF THE CRISIS. 

Looking only at the province of interests, is it 
easy to imagine an irremediable rupture between 
New York and Charleston, between the valley of 
the Mississippi and New Orleans ? What would the 
valley of the Mississippi be without New Orleans, 
and New Orleans, isolated from the vast country 
of which it is the natural market ? Can you fancy 
New York renouncing half her commerce, ceasing 
to be the broker of cotton, the necessary medium 
between the South and Europe? Can you fancy 
the South dej)rivcd of the intervention and credit 
which New York assures her ? Tlie dependence 
of the North and the South is reciprocal ; if the 
South produces the cotton, it is the North which 
furnishes the advances, then purchases on its own 
account or on commission, and expedites the traffic 
with Europe. In the United States, every part has 
need of the whole ; agricultural States, manufac- 
turing States, commercial States, they form together 
one of the most homogeneous countries of which I 
know. I should be surprised if such a country 
were destined to become forever dismembered, and 
that, too, at an epoch less favorable to the dismem- 
berment of great nations than to the absorption of 
small ones. 

' Shall I say all that I think? When Anglo- 



PROBABLE CONSEQUENCES OF THE CRISIS. 163 

Saxons are in question, we Latins are apt to deceive 
ourselves, terribly ; one would not risk much, per- 
haps, in supposing that events would take place 
precisely in the reverse of our hypothesis. We 
have loudly predicted in Europe the end of the 
United States, the birth and progress of a rival 
Confederacy, an irremediable separation : is not 
this a reason for supposing that there will be ul- 
timately neither a prolonged separation, nor a rival 
Confederacy worthy of consideration ? Free coun- 
tries, especially those of the English race, have a 
habit of which we know little : their words are 
exceedingly violent, and their actions exceedingly 
circumspect. They make a great noise : one would 
say that every thing was going to destruction ; but 
it is prudent to look at them more closely, for these 
countries of discussion are also countries of com- 
promise, the victors are accustomed to terminate 
political crises by yielding something of their vic- 
tory ; in appearance, it is true, rather than in reality. 
Fully decided at heart, they consent willingly to 
appear less positive in form. 

Here, I know that the extreme violence of the 
South renders a compromise very difficult, at least 
a present compromise. As it is accustomed to rule, 
and will be content with no less, as it knows that 



16i PROBABLE CONSEQUENCES OF THE CRISIS. 

the North, decidedly emancipated, will not replace, 
its head beneath the yoke, it seems resolved to in- 
cur all risks rather than renounce its fixed idea. 
For two months, the probabilities of compromise 
have been becoming constantly weaker. But if we 
have scarcely a right to count on them now, so far 
as the Gulf States are concerned, we must remember 
that the border States are at hand, that they are 
hesitating between the North and the South, and 
that certain concessions may be made to them, to 
prevent their separation. 

Such is the true character of the discussions 
relating to compromise. Confined to these limits, 
they nevertheless possess a vast interest, for the 
party which the border States are about to choose, 
and that to which they will perhaps attach them- 
selves afterwards,* will have a great influence over 
the general course of the crisis. The point in ques- 
tion is no longer, doubtless, to retain Virginia, 
whose well-known passions impel her to the side of 
Charleston, but to induce the other States to take 
an attitude in conformity with their interests and 
their duties. It w^ill not, therefore, be useless to 
give an account of the disposition that prevails 
among many Americans with respect to com- 
promise. 



PROBABLE CONSEQUENCES OF THE CRISIS. 165 

What was produced by that Peace Conference, 
convoked with so much noise by Virginia, the ancient 
political State, the country of Washington, Jefferson, 
Madison, and Monroe ? Nothing worth the trouble 
of mentioning. A considerable number of States 
refused to be present at this conference, which, had 
it been general, would have become transformed 
into a convention, and have annulled Congress, in 
point of fact, then in session in the same city ? Its 
plan, accepted with great difficulty by a factitious 
majority, never appeared to have much chance of 
adoption. The point in question, above all, was to 
decide that, below a fixed latitude, the majority of 
the inhabitants of a Territory could not prohibit 
the introduction of slavery, (disguised, it is true, un- 
der the euphuistic expression, involuntary servi- 
tude ; " ) this measure, was to be declared irrevo- 
cable, unless by the unanimous consent of the 
States. Despite the support of Mr. Buchanan, and 
that of the higher branches of trade in New York, 
seconded, as usual, by some fashionable circles of 
Boston, the almost unanimous public opinion of the 
North forbade all belief in the success of such an 
amendment to the Constitution, which, in accord- 
ance with the Constitution itself, could be adopted 
only on condition of uniting two-thirds of the votes 



16G PROBABLE CONSEQUENCES OF THE CRISIS. 

of Congress to the affirmative votes of three-fourths 
of the States composing the Confederation. 

Another project was put forward : all the mem- 
bers of Congress were to tender their resignation, 
and the new elections were to manifest the defini- 
tive will of the country on the question of slavery. 
That is, from the intense excitement of the country, 
were to be demanded some final elements of reac- 
tion, some means of disavowing the election of Mr. 
Lincoln. In either case, it would have been thus 
j)roved by an exceptional act that an election which 
is not ratified by the South may rightfully demand 
extraordinary measures, l^ow, there is nothing but 
what is customary, simple, and right, ir the conduct 
of the North ; it knows it, and will not, I think, 
permit such an advantage to be gained over it. To 
allow talking, to allow propositions, and to go its 
own way, this is the programme to which it is 
bound to remain faithful. "What makes its honor 
makes also its strength : this is the privilege of 
good causes. 

The North has not sought bases for a compro- 
mise. They arc all laid down, and I dare affirm, 
whatever may happen, that these bases, constantly 
the same, are those to which it will not fail to re- 
turn. To speak truly, it has but one declaration to 



PROBABLE CONSEQUENCES OF THE CEISI3. 167 



make : to proclaim anew the constitutional law, by- 
virtue of wliicli each State sovereignly decides its 
own affairs, and consequently excludes all interfer- 
ence of Congress in the matter of slavery. Perhaj)s 
it will join, if need be, to this declaration, which it 
has never refused, the promise to respect to the ut- 
most of its power, the principle of the restitution 
of fugitive slaves, which, unhappily, is also based 
upon the Constitution. But, on this point, promises 
are worth what they will fetch, for doubtless no one 
, will imagine that it is easier to constrain the free 
States to accomplish an odious deed which is revolt- 
ing to their conscience since they have verified 
their strength by electing Mr. Lincoln. Lastly, 
upon the ruling question, that of the Territories, the 
theory of the North evinces justice and clearness ; 
between the ultra abolitionists, who wish Congress 
to interfere to close by force all the Territories to 
slavery, and the South, which wishes Congress to 
interfere to open by force all the Territories to sla- 
very, it adopts this middle position : all the inhab- 
itants of the Territories shall open or close them to 
slavery, according to their will. It is the right of 
the majority, recognized there as elsewhere. 

I am not ignorant that Mr. Seward has gone 
much farther in the path of concession, and it is 



*168 PliOBABLE CONSEQUENCES OF THE CRISIS. * 

not absolutely impossible that these counsels of 
weakness may prevail. We must be prepared for 
any thing in this respect. Nevertheless, tlie Presi- 
dent has by no means confirmed the imprudent 
words of his future prime minister. The language 
of Mr. Lincoln has been remarkably clear. In his 
inaugural speech, to go no further back, he indi- 
cates expressly the true, the great concession that 
will be made to the South : " Those who elected 
me placed in the platform presented for my accept- 
ance, as a law for them and for me, the clear and 
explicit resolution which I am about to read to 
you : 'The maintenance intact of the right of the 
States, and especially of the right which each State 
possesses to regulate and exclusively control its 
institutions according to its own views, is essential 
to that balance of power, on which depend the 
perfection and duration of our political structure ; 
and we denounce the invasion in contempt of the 
law by an armed force of the soil of any State or 
Territory, upon whatever pretext it may be, as the 
greatest of crimes.' " Mr. Lincoln adds further .; 
" Congress has adopted an amendment to the Con- 
stitution, which, however, I have not seen, the 
purpose of which is to provide that the Federal Gov- 
ernment shall never interfere in the domestic insti- 



PF^OBAELE CONSEQUENCES OF THE CBISIS. 169 



tutions of the States, including those which relate 
to i^ersons held in service. In order to avoid all 
misunderstanding concerning vrhat I have said, I 
depart from my intention of not speaking of any 
amendment in particular, to say that, considering 
this clause henceforth as a constitutional law, I 
have no objection that it be rendered explicit and 
irrevocable." 

Concerning fugitive slaves, the inaugural dis- 
course cites the text of the federal Constitution, 
which decides the question for the present ; but he 
does not ignore tlie fact that this constitutional de- 
cision is as well executed as it can be, " the moral 
sense of the people lending only an imperfect sup- 
port to the law." 

As to the Territories, Mr. Lincoln declares 
clearly that the minority must submit to the ma- 
jority, under penalty of falling into complete anar- 
chy. Neither does he hesitate on the subject of 
the decisions of the Supreme Court ; these decrees, 
in his ej^es, are merely special decisions rendered 
in particular cases, and detracting nothing from 
the right which the Confederation possesses to reg- 
ulate its institutions and its policy. 

All this is very firm, without being provoking. 
The limit of concessions is marked out, and a con- 
8 



170 PKOBABLE CONSEQUENCES OF THE CRISIS. 

ciliatory spirit is maintained. It is above all in 
disclosing liis line of conduct towards the rebellions 
States, that Mr. Lincoln happily resolves the prob- 
lem of abandoning none of the rights of the Con- 
federation^ while manifesting the most pacific 
disposition, and leaving to others the odium of 
aggression. His doctrine on this point may be 
summed up in this wise : in the first place, the 
separation is unconstitutional, it should be, it will 
be combated, nothing on earth can bring the Pres- 
ident to accede to the destruction of the Union ; in 
the second place, he will not be the aggressor, he 
will endeavor to shun a war which exposes the 
South to fearful perils ; in the third place, he will 
fulfill the duty of preserving federal property and 
collecting federal ^ taxes in the South. In other 
terms, he will employ the means which should have 
been employed on the first day, and which would 
have then been more efficacious. He will attempt 
the establishment of a maritime blockade, in order 
to reduce the rebellion of the whites without pro- 
voking the insurrection of the negroes. Already, 
the vessels of war have been recalled from distant 
stations. Alas ! I have little hope that the j^re- 
cautions dictated to Mr. Lincoln by prudence and 
humanity will bear their fruits. The South raises 



PEOBABLE CONSEQUENCES OF THE CEISIS. ITI 



an army and is about to attack Fort Sumter, 
knowing that it will tlius expose itself to a for- 
midable retribution. Mr. Lincoln, in fact, lias not 
left it in ignorance of this : " In your hands, my 
dissatisfied fellow-citizens, in yours and not mine, 
is found the terrible question of civil war. The 
Government will not attack you ; you will have no 
conflict, if you are not the aggressors. You have 
not, on your part, an oath registered in heaven to 
destroy the Government ; whilst I, on my side, am 
about to take the most solemn oath to maintain, to 
protect and defend it." 

Such is the respective position. Men will agi- 
tate, are agitating already, about the new President, 
to take away from his thoughts and designs this 
resolute character w^hich makes their force. They^ 
attempt to demonstrate to him, not only that Fort 
Sumter, so easy to revictual under Mr. Buchanan, 
has now become inaccessible to aid, and that no 
other course remains than to authorize its surrender; 
but that Fort Pickens itself should be surrendered 
to the South, in order to reserve every chance of 
reconciliation and in no degree to assume the re- 
sponsibility of civil w^ar ! I hope that Mr. Lincoln 
will know how to resist these enfeebling influences. 
After having demonstrated to him that it is neces- 



172 PROBABLE C02sSEQUE]S'CE3 OF THE CRISIS. 



saiy to deliver up tlie forts, tliey will demonstrate 
to liim that it is necessary to renounce the block- 
ade, which is not tenable without the forts; then, 
who knows? they will demonstrate to him finally 
that it is necessary to sign some disgraceful com- 
promise, and submit almost to the law of the 
rebels. 

Once more, it is prudent to foresee every thing, 
and it is for this that I mention such things. I 
count, moreover, on theîr not being realized. In 
electing Mr. Lincoln, the United States decided 
thus : Slavery will make no more conquests. What 
they have decided, they will ultimately maintain, 
even though they should have the air of abandoning 
it. They have respected and they will respect the 
sovereignty of tlie States ; uj^on this point they will 
give all the guarantees that may be desired, and 
Congress, we have seen, has already voted an 
amendment to the Constitution, designed to offer 
this basis of compromise. But it is improbable 
that they will go beyond this ; the Xorth must feel 
that, of all ways of terminating the present crisis, 
the most fatal would be the disavowal of j)rinciples 
and the desertion of the flag. 

The compromises that promise any thing more 
than respect for the sovereignty of the States in the 



PKOBABLE CONSEQUENCES OF THE CKISIS. 173 



matter of slavery, promise more than tliey could 
perform ; every one feels this, in the South as in 
the North. The policy of the South forms a whole 
of which nothing subsists if any thing be re- 
trenched, and above all if the complicity of the 
Government ceases to be assured to it. On the day 
that the South accepts any compromise wdiatever, 
it will have renounced, not the maintenance doubt- 
less, but the propagation of slavery ; it will have 
renounced its rule. Compromises, (there will be 
such, perhaps, let us swear to nothing ; before or 
after the w^ar, with the entire South, or with a part 
of it,) compromises will be signed henceforth with- 
out any delusion. The South knows, marvellously 
well, that these compromises wdll bear little resem- 
blance to those signed in former times. Those 
marked, by their constantly increasing pretension, 
the upward march of the South ; these will mark 
the phases of its decline. How many changes 
which can never be retraced ! No more conquests 
to promote slavery, no more reopening of the Afri- 
can slave trade, no more impunity secured to 
those numerous slave-ships which daily, to the 
knowledge and in the sight of all, for years past, 
have quitted the ports of the Confederation ; no 
more chance of equalling, by the creation and popu- 



17-i PROBABLE CONSEQUENCES OF THE CRISIS. 

lation of new States, the rapid development of the 
North ; henceforth the question is ended, the South 
must be resigned to it : the majority of the free 
States will become such that it can be contested 
neither in the House of Representatives, nor in the 
Senate, nor in the presidential election; the su- 
premacy resides at the Is'orth, the programme of 
the South is rent in a thousand i:>ieces. 

Against this, all the compromises in the world 
can do nothing. If Mr. Lincoln is the first Presi- 
dent opposed to slavery, Mr. Buchanan is the last 
President favorable to slavery ; the American poli- 
cy is henceforth fixed. Reflect, in fact, on what 
these four years of government will produce. Tlie 
result is so enormous, that, unhappily, one might 
be tempted to say at "Washington : " We will do all 
that is wished, provided we preserve the handling 
of affairs." 

The power of a President is doubtless inconsid- 
erable, but his advent is that of a party. This 
party is about to renew all administrations, great 
and small ; the same majority which has elected 
Jiim will modify before long the tendencies of the 
courts ; in fine, the general aû'airs of the Union 
will be managed in a new spirit. It was advancing 
in one direction, it is about to move in the opposite. 



PROBABLE CONSEQUENCES OF THE CRISIS. 175 

Mr. Lincoln is not one to shut his eyes on filibus- 
tering attempts to strive to take Cuba for the sla- 
very party, to permit States to be carved out of 
Mexico, and others to be made ready by subdi- 
vidiug Texas. The process which is about to be 
accomplished reminds me of the measures taken to 
combat a vast conflagration : the first thing done 
is to circumscribe its locality. 

At the end of the four years of Mr. Lincoln's 
administration, the flames which threatened to de- 
vour the Union will be completely hemmed in. 
Considering the United States as a whole, and in- 
dependently of the incidents of separation, we are 
justified in believing that the respective number 
of free and of slave States will leave no chance 
for the ulterior extension of a great scourge. Do 
we delude ourselves by thinking that the prog- 
ress already begun in the border States will have 
been accelerated in its course, and that many of 
them will have freely passed over to the side of 
liberty? Is it certain, moreover, that the hesitation 
of some of the churches will have ceased, and that 
the influence of the Gospel, so decisive in America, 
will have finally placed itself entire at the service 
of the good cause ? 

Let there be a compromise or not, let the great 



176 PROBABLE CONSEQUENCES OF TUE CPwISIS. 

secession of the Soiitîi be prevented or not, one fact 
remains settled from this time : the United States 
were tottering on their base, they have regained 
their equilibrium ; the deadly perils which they 
lately incurred from the plans of conquest of the 
South and the indefinite extension of slavery, are 
at length conjured down ; they have no longer to 
ask whether, some day, the South having grown be- 
yond measure, secession must not be effected by the 
ÎTorth, leaving in the hands of the slaveholders the 
glorious name and the starry banner of the Union. 

I think that I have gone over the whole series 
of hypotheses which offer any probability. I have 
been careful to adopt none of them, for I make 
no pretension, thank God, to read the future. It 
v'ould be puerile to prognosticate what will hap- 
pen, and not less puerile, perhaps, to describe it 
from what has happened. In the face of the acci- 
dents in different directions which are attracting 
public attention and filling the columns of newspa- 
pers, I have attempted to make a distinction be- 
tween what may happen and what must endure. 
Tlie lasting consequences of the present crisis are 
what I proposed to investigate faithfully. The 
reader knows what are my conclusions. It may be 
that it will end in the adoption of some blâmable 



PROBABLE CONSEQUENCES OF THE CKISIS. 177 

compromise ; but whatever may be inscribed in 
it, the election of Mr. Lincoln has just written in 
the maro-in a note that will annul the text. The 
time for certain concessions is past, and the South 
has no more doubts of it than the Xorth. It may 
be that the slave States will succeed in founding 
their deplorable Confederacy, but it is impossible 
that they should succeed in making it live ; they 
will perceive that it is easier to adopt a compact 
or to elect a President, than to create, in truth, 
in the face of the nineteenth century, the national- 
ity of slavery. 

I have, therefore, the right to affirm that, what- 
ever may be the appearances and incidents of the 
moment, one fact has been accomplished and will 
subsist : the United States were perishing, and are 
saved. Yes, whatever may be the hypothesis on 
which we pause, three new and decisive facts ap- 
pear to our eyes : we know that the îs'orth hence- 
forth has the mastery ; we know that the perils 
which threaten the Union came from the South and 
not from the jST orth ; we know that the days of the 
" patriarchal institution" are numbered. Beneath 
these three facts, it is not difficult to perceive the 
uprising of a great people. 

The victory of the ISTorth, the consciousness 
8^ 



178 PROBABLE CONSEQUENCES OF THE CRISIS. 

which it has of its strength and of its fixed resohi- 
tion, whatever may be the appearances to the con- 
trary, to circumscribe an evil which was ready to 
overflow on every side, is the first fact ; there is no 
need to return to it. 

As to the second, Carolina and Georgia have 
charged themselves with bringing it to light. They 
have proved by their acts that abolitionism had 
been calumniated in accusing it of menacing the 
unity of the United States. Tlie secessionist pas- 
sions have shown themselves in the other camp ; 
there, upon the mere news of a regular election, 
have been sacrificed unhesitatingly the greatness, 
and, it would seem, the very existence of the country. 
The proclamations from Charleston, and the shots 
fired on the Federal flag, have apprised us of what 
intelligent observers suspected already : that the 
States for which slavery had become a passion and 
almost a mission, must some day experience the 
need of procuring to such a cause the security of 
isolation. 

And in acting in this wise, these States, strange 
to say, have themselves stated the problem of abo- 
lition. No one thought of it, it may be said ; 
every one respected the constitutional limits of their 
sovereignty. They would not have it thus ; they 



PROBABLE CONSEQUENCES OF THE CRISIS. 179 

carried tlie question into tlie territory of Federal 
right and Federal relations ; they exclaimed : " Se- 
cure tlie extension of slavery, and perish the 
United States ! " If the United States had per- 
ished, there would not have been maledictions deep 
enough for those who had committed such a crime. 
The United States will not perish ; but they will 
long remember with gratitude what they owe to 
the secessionists of 1860. When the hour of eman- 
cipation shall have struck, and it will strike some 
day, the secessionists of 1860 will not probably 
speak of their rights to indemnity ; they have just 
given a quittance of it in cannon balls. 

The third fact remains : Is it true that, in all the 
hypotheses, the cause of the negroes has just real- 
ized such progress that the ultimate issue of the 
contention can no longer be doubtful ? This is 
most obvious. Let there be separation or not, sla- 
very has just entered upon the road which leads to 
abolition, more or less rapid, but infallible. If 
there be no separation, this immense progress will 
be effected with more wisdom and slowness ; vio- 
lent means will be averted, the benevolent influence 
of the Gospel will pave the way for progressive 
and peaceful transformation by preaching, to the 
slaves as to the masters, more of their duties than 



180 PROBABLE CONSEQUENCES OF THE CPJSIS. 



of tlieir rights. If there be separation, emancipa- 
tion will be accomplished much more quickly and 
more calamitously. Servile war will break out ; 
ultra abolitionism, to which hitherto the prudence 
of the îv'orth has refused all real credit, will be no 
longer restrained by the prudence of a people desi- 
rous of shunning bloody catastrophes ; sustained by 
the increasing animosity which will inflame the 
two Confederacies against each other, it will find 
means of introducing into the South appeals to 
revolt, and will multiply expeditions like that of 
John Brown. 

But let us leave these generalities, and examine 
nearer by, from the stand-point of emancipation, the 
four or five hypotheses which we have signalled out 
most plainly, and between which seem to lie the 
chances of the future. 

I shall examine first of all the one whose realiza- 
tion is evidently pursued by the able men of the ex- 
treme South. The question is, after having speedily 
gained over the Xorth, thanks to Mr. Buchanan, to 
arrive as quickly as possible at something which 
shall have the appearance and authority of a fact 
accomplished. Audacity, and again audacity ; upon 
this point, the politic and the violent meet in unison 
to-day. It has seceded, it has invaded the Federal 



PROBABLE CONSEQUENCES OF THE CEISIS. 181 

property, it lias trumped up a government, it has 
given itself a President, it is about to have an army, 
it is already attempting to represent itself officially 
at the courts of the great powers. 

By the side of audacity, prudence has played its 
part. It has taken good care not to unfurl its flag, 
it has made itself small, modest, moderate, as much 
so, at least, as the passions of the mob would per- 
mit ; it asked nothing, in truth, but to live honestly 
in a corner of the globe. Who speaks, then, of 
conquests ? Who would wish to re-establish the 
African slave trade on a large scale ? Far from be- 
ing retrogrades, the men of the South are cham- 
pions of progress ; witness their programme of 
commercial freedom! Are there no honest men to 
be found in the îTorth, to restrain Mr. Lincoln, and 
to prevent him from oppressing them ? Are there 
no governments in Europe that can interpose, and 
recommend the maintenance of j)eace ? Is not this 
peace, which prevents the insurrections of negroes, 
and the destruction of cotton, for the interest of all ? 
Why should there not be two Confederacies, living 
side by side, as good friends ? 

It is evident that the able party tend to this, and 
that the violent have allowed them to give, for the 
common interest, this subdued tone to the insurrec- 



182 PROBABLE CONSEQITENCES OF THE CKISIS. 

tionary movement. The able party know too well 
what war would be to desire it. They prepare for it 
in the hope, if not to avoid it, at least to postpone it 
for the present, and to obtain in behalf of Southern 
secession, that species of security w^hich is confer- 
red in our times by the deed accomplished. Per- 
haps the United States, yielding to a sentiment 
which certainly has something honorable in it, will 
allow the Confederacy of the Gulf States to subsist, 
rather than crush it, which would be but too easy, by 
bringing upon it a war which would be accompanied 
by slave insurrections. Let us not be in haste to 
blame such a course ; let us remember that the whole 
world is prompting in this direction, that all the 
counsels given to Mr. Lincoln, in the Old "World as in 
the New, begin invariably with the words : " Strive 
to avoid civil w^ar ; " let us remember also that, to 
solve the American problem, much more time will 
be needed than we imagine in Europe ; let us en- 
deavor to put ourselves in the place of those who 
see things as they are, and who find themselves in a 
struggle with the difficulties. 

Patience will doubtless have here its great in- 
conveniencies ; the Confederacy of the cotton States, 
if tolerated, will seem the living proof of the right 
of separation ; it will bo an asylum all prepared, in 



PROBABLE CONSEQUENCES OF THE CRISIS. 183 

which the discontented border States can take 
refuge at need. H'cvertheless the question is to 
tolerate this Confederacy, but by no means to recog- 
nize the legitimacy of the act which gave it birth ; 
the question is to make use of a generous forbear- 
ance, to which new threats of secession will neces- 
sarily put an end. Then, is it nothing to manifest a 
spirit of peace fitted to touch the most prejudiced, 
to bind the majority of the border States to the 
destinies of the Union, to give evidence of the dis- 
tinction which exists between them and the extreme' 
South, to force them, in fine, to declare themselves ? 
If they surmount the present temptation, (and they 
will never encounter a stronger one,) if they consent 
to sacrifice their immediate interests, and to re- 
nounce the trafiic in slaves, which is in danger of 
ceasing from day to day in case they do not join 
the " Confederate States ; " is such a resolution 
nothing ? does it contain no guarantees for the fu- 
ture ? We do not set foot in the right path with 
impunity ; honorable resolves always carry us fur- 
ther, thank God ! than we counted on going. Sup- 
pose even that the border States which refuse to 
unite with the South design to impose on the North 
certain vexatious conditions, they will be none the 
less turned from their former alliances, they will 



18é PROBABLE CONSEQUENCES OF THE CEISIS. 

have none tlie less begun to move in a new direc- 
tion. Wc should do wrong if we did not recognize 
how honorable is the conduct of several among them; 
in watching over their legislatures, in enacting that 
the vote of secession shall be submitted to the rati- 
fication of the whole people, certain frontier States 
seem to have already shown themselves resolved to 
foil the intrigues at Charleston. 

The cause of emancipation takes, therefore, a 
very important step in advance, in the liypothesis 
of a Southern Confederacy reduced, or nearly so, to 
the Gulf States alone. Limited secession is j^erhaps 
of all combinations, the one most favorable to the 
suppression of slavery. Picture to yourself, in fact, 
what this Southern Confederacy will be. It will be 
an impossible, short-lived republic, the separation 
of which will one day cease, and which, meanwhile, 
will be incapable of realizing any of its favorite 
projects. From the first hour, the extreme South 
found itself brought to face a dilemma : either to 
draw in all the slave States, and then to await the 
inoment favorable to the execution of its grandilo- 
quent plans, to hasten towards its destiny, its ideal, 
to conquer territories, to people them with negroes, 
and to perish through the accomplishment of an 
impious work ; or, to remain alone and undertake 



PROBABLE CONSEQUENCES OF THE CUISIS. 185 



nothing, and still perish, but this time through im- 
potence to exist. What is to be done when there is 
only the miserable Confederacy of some thousand 
whites, the owners and keepers of some hundred 
thousand blacks? Make conquests? They dare 
not. Open the slave trade ? It would draw down 
destruction upon them. 

Now, mark that, in the bosom of a Confederacy 
morally isolated from the entire world, receiving 
aid neither from immigrants nor capital, deprived, 
in a large part at least, of the fresh supply of negroes 
wdiich it formerly drew from the North, unable 
even to incur the risk of imitating Spain, which 
buys free negroes from the slave-hunters of the 
African continent, not in a condition to stop the 
escapes which wall take place on all her frontiers, 
the question of slavery will proceed necessarily 
towards its solution. The extreme South, strange 
to say, will find itself placed providentially as an 
obstacle betv/een the United States and the coun- 
tries of which it lately meditated the acquisition. 
The United States will have the advantage of being 
unable even to think of Cuba, or Central America, 
or Mexico ; they will be delivered for a time from 
these baleful temptations, and from the States in 
which they met the v/armest support. And, during 



186 PROBABLE CONSEQUENCES OF THE CRISIS. 

this time, the extreme South will be forced, in some 
sort, to look at the problem of slavery imder an as- 
pect before miknown to it. 

Later will come the shock, the jDostponed 
but inevitable conflict. Blockaded at the South, 
blockaded at the North, blockaded on the African 
side, undermined and torn by its intestine divi- 
sions, the extreme South will have to face, at one 
time or another, the irresistible power of the United 
States. Does any one imagine by chance that the 
latter will forever relinquish New Orleans and the 
Gulf of Mexico ? The more they become elevated 
and strengthened, the more they will be led, say 
rather, forced, to absorb again the portions of their 
former domain which have attempted to exist with- 
out them. 

From this time, the discussion relative to slavery 
will assume in the United States a simple and de- 
cided bearing. The extreme South, in quitting 
them, will have given them every facility ; it will 
have endowed them with political homogeneousness 
and liberal majorities. By the mere effect of the 
departure of the senators and representatives of the 
extreme South, the party opposed to slavery will 
have acquired, at the outset, the numerical ma- 
jority which it lacked in Congress ; it will be in a 



PROBABLE CONSEQIJEKCES OF THE CEISIS. 187 

position to ensure tlie passage of its bills, to form 
its administration, to constitute by degrees courts 
in every respect favorable to its principles. Next, 
tlie border States who shall not have followed the 
fortunes of the extreme South will find themselves 
bound to those of the North, associated wdtli its in- 
terests, open to its ideas ; and it is a fixed fact that 
several will not be long in completing the work of 
liberty already begun among them, and thus be- 
coming, with their rich and extensive Territories, of 
the number of those fortunate States in which the 
suppression of slavery gives the signal for the fruit- 
ful invasion of immigrants, for agricultural prog- 
ress, for wealth, and for credit. In this manner 
the " patriarchal institution " will disappear peace- 
ably from the intermediate region, while it will be 
threatened by more terrible shocks in the tropical 
region. 

This is a chance which is common to limited 
and to total secession, but which is still more una- 
voidable in the last. Face to face with the miser- 
able Confederacy of the extreme South, the United 
States can afford to be patient ; face to face with the 
Confederacy comprising all the slave States, (or, 
which means the same, face to face with two distinct 
Confederacies, comprising, the one the cotton States, 



188 PKOBABLE COXSEQUEXCES OF THE CKISIS. 



the otlicr tlie border States, yet united against the 
North through an old instinct of complicity,) the 
attitude of the United States, as every one foresees, 
will inevitably be more hostile. Total secession it- 
self can be born only from, a sentiment of .declared 
hostility ; it am omits to a declaration of war. Sup- 
pose that Mr. Lincoln rejects the advice of those of his 
cabinet who wish him to accept the fact of secession ; 
Guppose that, while treating the South with gentle- 
ness, and striving to spare it the horrors of an 
armed strife, he persists in protecting the rights of 
the Confederation, and securing to it, by a maritime 
blockade, the collection of taxes ; suppose that the 
blockade is organized from South Carolina to the 
Kio Grande, supported by Forts Pickens, Jefferson, 
and Taylor, which will have been revictuallcd at all 
costs after the forced evacuation of Fort Sumter ; 
suppose that, in this manner, Vv'atch is kept over the 
ports of Charleston, Savannah, Mobile, and iSew 
Orleans, may it not happen that the insurrectional 
government at Montgomery will decide to effect a 
march on "Washington ? Is it not probable that 
jSTorth Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland will allovv 
themselves to be crossed without saying a word ? 
More than this, are we not justified in believing 
that these States, and with them a considerable 



PROBABLE CONSEQUENCES OF THE CRISIi^. 189 



number of tlic central ones, rallied aronnd tlieir an- 
cient banner by tlic very approacli of peril, ^viii 
make common cause with tbo slave Confederacy ? 
In such a case, how avert the chances of a direful 
conflict ? Will the United States cany patience 
with respect to the aggressors, the fear of giving a 
signal of ruin, deference to the counsels lavished on 
them perhaps, so far as to refuse to return a violent 
attack, and to consent to the ravishment of their 
capital ? It is hard to believe. If the South make 
the attack, the war will break out, negro revolts will 
commence, and the border States v/ill be exposed 
to the first blov7. 

But admit that they succeed in preventing an 
immediate explosion, the mere fact of a total seces- 
sion, and of the formation of two Confederacies, 
almost equal, (in appearance at least,) will permit no 
one to count on the prolonged preservation of peace. 
What repulsion, what grievances v/ill be found in 
all relations, in all c[uestions ! And from a grievance 
to war, from war to negro insnrrections, what will 
be the distance, I ask ? The South will be then an 
immense powder magazine, to which the first spark 
will set fire. And the South will not lose its habits 
of arrogance, it will be quarrelsome as always. 
Has it not already announced in its journals that, on 



190 TEOBABLE CONSEQUENCES OF THE CRISIS. 



the first encouragement given to its fugitive slaves, 
it will draw the sword ? !^^'ow, such encouragement 
certainly will not be wanting. The South does not 
know at the present time how much the Xorth, of 
which it complains, contributes to prevent the es- 
capes which it fears. The Federal Government is 
at hand to oppose them, in some measure at least. 
TTlien the preventive obstacle shall have disappear- 
ed, the South will sec with what rapidity its slavery 
will glide away on every point of its frontier ; it 
will see its happy negroes ready to brave a thou- 
sand perils rather than remain under its law. Alas! 
it will see many other proofs of their devotion to 
servitude. I do not like to bring bloody images, at 
which I shudder, too often before the eyes of the 
reader ; it must be said, notwithstanding, while it is 
yet time, that the general Confederacy of the South, 
intoxicated with its projects, resolved to increase 
its possessions, forced to demand from the African 
slave trade the means of repeopling its States, de- 
populated by escape, and to install slavery into new 
territories, will draw upon it, not only the wrath of 
the United States, but the indignation of the entire 
world. And what misery, what ruin will ensue 
from the first conflict ! 

I like better to fix my thoughts on the third 



PROBABLE CONSEQUENCES OF THE CKISIS. 191 



hypothesis — that of a return to the now broken 
Union. Tanght by experience, seeing how little 
Vv'eight it has in the world since its separation from 
the United States, i:>oor, weak, divided, compre- 
hending the impossibility of realizing its true plans 
without exposing itself to calamities, losing its re- 
sources, one after another, even to the cultivation 
of cotton, which also demands credit and security, 
incapable of preventing the flight of its slaves, and 
not daring to brave that great power of j^ublic 
opinion which Vv'ill interdict it the African trade, 
the Southern Confederacy, exhausted and dismayed, 
will perhaps one day prefer returning to the bosom 
of the Union, to plunging into the extremity of mis- 
fortune. In this case, again, the question of affran- 
chisement will have made vast strides. The United 
States will have taken a decided position in the 
absence of the South, which its return cannot de- 
stroy; convictions will be fixed, the final impulse 
will have been given, and to this impulse, the South, 
come to repentance, will know that nothing is left 
it but to submit. 

Finally comes a last hypothesis, which I mention 
because it is necessary to foresee every possibility. 
Under the combined influence of the border States 
and the States of the îsorth, equally desirous of 



192 PROBABLE CONSEQUENCES OF THE CEISIS. 



maintaining the Union, tlic attempts of the extreme 
South will have failed, its secession will have lasted 
only a few months, and a compromise will have 
served to cover its retreat. But Avhat compromise 
could compensate for a fact so important as the 
election of Mr. Lincoln? It has a deep significance 
which no compromise will remove ; it signifies that 
the conquests of slavery are ended. This proven, the 
future is easy to foresee: increasing majorities in 
the North, increasing disproportion of the two parts 
of the Confederation. At the end of the four years 
of a Lincoln administration, the slave States will 
have lost all hope of struggling, with their eight 
thousand whites charged with keeping four millions 
of blacks, against the twenty millions of citizens 
that inhabit the free States. Let us add that, the 
future once fixed and the question of preponderance 
once resolved, many liassions will moderate by de- 
grees. The number of free States will increase, not 
only by the settling of nev/ territories, but also by 
the affranchisement of the thinly scattered slaves, 
becoming continually more thinly scattered, of Mary- 
land, of Delaware, or of Missouri. We can even now 
describe this aflTranchisement, so well is the Ameri- 
can method known. It consists, as every one knows, 
in emancipating the children that are to be born. 



PEOBABLE CONSEQUENCES OF THE CEISIS. 193 

This is the method which has been uniformly ap- 
plied in the Northern States, and which will be 
doubtless applied some day in the border States, 
provided, however, civil war does not come to ac- 
complish a very different emancipation — emancipa- 
tion by the rising of the slaves. There will be 
nothing of this, I hope ; pacific progress will have 
its way. We shall then see these intermediate 
States, one after the other, regaining life in the 
same time as liberty : they will become transformed 
as if touched by the wand of a fairy. 

Such are the future prospects whicli offer them- 
selves to us. If we remember, besides, the move- 
ment which is beginning to be wrought in the 
religious societies and the churches — a movement 
which cannot fail to be soon complete, we shall 
know on what to rely concerning the fate which 
awaits a social iniquity against which are at once 
conspiring the follies of its friends, and the indigna- 
tion of its foes. 



9 



CHAPTER IX. 



COEXISTENCE OF THE TWO KACES AETEFw EMANCIPATION. 

Something more difScult to foresee than the 
suppression, henceforth certain, of slavery, is the 
consequence of this suppression. The problem of 
the coexistence of the two races rests at the present 
hour with a crushing weight on the thoughts of all ; 
it mingles poignant doubts with the hopes of some, 
it exasperates the resistance of others. Is it true 
that emancipation would be the signal of a struggle 
for extermination ? Is there not room upon Amer- 
ican soil for free blacks by the side of free whites ? 
I do not conceal from myself that there is here an 
accredited prejudice, an admitted opinion which, 
perhaps more than any thing else, trammels the 
progress of the United States. Let us attempt to 
estimate it, 

M. de Tocqueville, who has judged America 
with so sure an eye, has been, notwithstanding, 



THE TWO RACES AFTER EMANCIPATION. 195 



mistaken upon some points ; liis warmest admirers 
must admit it. "Writing at an epoch when the 
great results of English emancipation had not yet 
been produced, he was led to frame that formi- 
dable judgment of which so much advantage has 
been taken : " Hitherto, wherever the whites have 
been the more powerful, they have held the negroes 
in degradation and slavery ; wherever the negroes 
have been the more powerful, they have destroyed 
the w^hites. This is the only account which can 
ever be opened between the two races." 

Another account is opened, thank God, and no 
one will rejoice at it more sincerely than M. de 
Tocquevillo— he who is so generous, and w^hose 
abolition sentiments are certainly no mystery to 
any of his colleagues of the Chamber. But his 
opinion remains in his book, and every one re^ 
peats after him, that the blacks and the whites can- 
not live together on the same soil, unless the latter 
be subject to the former. 

I repeat, that at the time at which he w^rote, he 
had reason, or at least known facts gave him reason, 
to say this ; the liberty of the blacks had then but 
one name — St. Domingo. To-day, the victories of 
Christian emancipation have come, to contrast with 
the catastrophes provoked by impenitent despotism. 



19G COEXISTENCE OF THE TWO EACES 



The English Colonies bear a striking analogy 
to the Southern States of the Union. The blacks 
there are numerous, more numerous even in pro- 
portion to the whites than in the Oarolinas or 
Florida. The climate is even more scorching, and 
the cultures demand still more imperiously the la- 
bor of the blacks. As to the prejudices of the mas- 
ters, I dare afhrm that the planters of the Continent 
and those of the Antilles have not long had any 
thing with which to reproach each other. Not- 
withstanding, wiiat has happened in the Antilles ? 
Not only has liberty been proclaimed — this was the 
act of the metropolis — but the coexistence of races 
has subsisted. It is to this point that I claim at- 
tention. They, the whites and the blacks, alike 
free, invested with the same privileges, exercising 
the same rights, encountering each other in the 
ranks of the militia, in the magistracy, and even in 
the seats of the colonial assemblies, admirably ac- 
cept this life in common. And the whites there, 
observe, are Anglo-Saxons ; that is, they belong to 
that race which is declared incapable of enduring 
free blacks in its neighborhood. 

It is necessary to appeal sometimes from those 
axioms so boldly laid dowm, which serve us to make 
inflexible laws for that which must be subject in an 



AFTER EMANCIPATION. 



197 



infinite measure to the mobility of circumstances and 
influences. The influence of the Gospel, especially, 
is a fact, the scope of which is never sufficiently 
measured. It has created in the Antilles a negro 
population which maintains its equality face to face 
with the whites, yet which does not entirely reject 
their patronage ; a dependent population which is 
also a free population, free in the most absolute 
sense of the word. The blacks of the Antilles la- 
bor on the 23lantations, and secure the success of 
large plantations ; but, at the same time, they them- 
selves become landholders, forming by degrees one 
of the happiest and most remarkable classes of 
peasants that ever existed. Their little fields, their 
pretty villages, manifest real prosperity ; and there 
is something among them that is worth more than 
prosperity, there is moral progress, the development 
of intellect, and the elevation of souls. 

It will be demanded of us if, in the midst of 
so much progress, the production of sugar has not 
suffered. I answer that, on the contrary, it has in- 
creased. It had been predicted that emancipation 
would be a death-blow to the British colonies. I 
suspect that many people are even yet persuaded 
of it ; now, in spite of the faults committed by the 
planters, who have neglected nothing to disgust 



198 COEXISTENCE OF THE TWO RACES 

the negroes witli labor and to drive tliem from 
tlieir old mills, tliey are found to return to them, 
contenting themselves with w^ages that scarcely rise 
above an average of a shilling a day. If we com- 
pare the two last censuses of liberty with the two 
last years of slavery, we shall discover that the 
total production of sugar has increased in the colo- 
nies in wdiich emancipation was effected in 1834. 
And they have not only had to endure this crisis 
of emancipation, but also another crisis still more 
formidable, that of the sudden introduction of free 
trade in 1834. The colonial sugars, exposed to com- 
petition with the sugar produced at Havana and 
elsewhere by slave labor, experienced a prodigious 
decline. There w^as cause to believe that the pro- 
duction was about to be destroyed ; it has risen 
again, notwithstanding, and the English Antilles, 
wdth their free negroes and their unprotected sugar, 
forced to face entire liberty in all its forms, import 
to-day into the metropolis nearly a million more 
hoo-sheads than at the moment when the crisis of 
free trade broke forth. 

Liberty w^orks miracles. We always distrust 
her, and she replies to our suspicions by benefits. 
The English Antilles, which, during the last thirty 
years, have had to surmount, besides the two crises 



AFTER EîklANCIPATION. 



199 



of emancipation and free trade, the earthquake of 
18-10 and six consecntive years of drought ; the 
English Antilles, which have had to liquidate their 
old debts, and to repair the ruin accruing from the 
failure of the bank of Jamaica, are now in an atti- 
tude which proves that they have no fears for the 
future and scarcely regret the past. 

Under slavery, the Antilles were hastening to 
their ruin ; with liberty, they have become one of 
the richest channels of exportation which England 
possesses ; under slavery, they could not have sup- 
ported the shock of free trade ; with liberty, they 
have gained this new battle : such are the net pro- 
ceeds of experience. If we still have doubts, let us 
compare Dutch Guiana, which holds slaves, to Eng- 
lish Guiana, which has emancipated them. The 
resources of these two countries are almost equal ; 
English Guiana is progressing, while the cultures 
of Surinam are forsaken ; three-fourths of its plan- 
tations are already abandoned, and the rest will 
follow. 

But the question of profits and losses is not the 
only one here, I think, and after having computed 
the proceeds of sugar, after having shown that in 
this respect English emancipation is in rule, it is 
allowable to mention also another kind of result. 



200 COEXISTENCE OF THE TWO EACE3 

Look at these pretty cottages^ this neat and almost 
elegant furniture, tliese gardens, this general air of 
comfort and civilization ; question these blacks, 
whose physical appearance has become modified 
already under the influence of liberty, these blacks, 
who decreased rapidly in numbers during the 
epoch of slavery, and v/ho have begun to increase, 
on the contrary, since their affranchisement ; they 
will tell us that they are haj)py. Some have be- 
come landowners, and labor on their own account, 
(this is not a crime, I imagine ;) others unite to 
strengthen large plantations, or perhaps to carry to 
the works of rich planters the canes gathered by 
them on their own grounds ; some are merchants, 
many hire themselves out as farmers. "Wliatever 
may be the faults of some individuals, the ensemble 
of free negroes has merited the testimony rendered 
in 1857 by the Governor of Tobago : " I deny that 
our blacks of the country are of indolent habits. 
So industrious a class of inhabitants does not exist 
in the world." 

An admirable spectacle, and one which the his- 
tory of mankind presents to us too rarely, is that 
of a degraded population elevating itself more and 
more, and placmg itself on a level with those who 
before despised it. Concubinage, so general in 



AFTER EMANCIPATION. 



201 



times of servitude as to give rise to the famous 
axiom, " Negroes ablior marriage," is now replaced 
by regular unions. In becoming free, tlie negroes 
have learned to respect themselves : the unanimous 
reports of tlie governors mark tlie progress of their 
habits of sobriety. Crimes have greatly diminished 
among them. They are polite and well brought 
up, falling even into the excess of exaggerated cour- 
tesy. They respect the aged : if an old man passes 
through the streets, the children rise and cease their 
play. 

These children are assiduously sent to schools, 
the support of which depends, in a great part, upon 
the voluntary gifts of the negroes. Grateful to the 
Gospel which has set them free, the former slaves 
have become passionately attached to their pastors ; 
their first resources are consecrated to churches, to 
sehools, and sometimes, also, to distant missions, 
to the evangelization of that Africa which they re- 
member to do it good. We should be at once sur- 
prised and humiliated, were we to compare the 
much-vaunted gifts of our charity with those of 
these poor people, these freed men of yesterday, 
whom we think that we may rightfully treat with 
disdain. 

Thanks to the Gospel, and it is to this that I 
9* 



202 



COEXISTEJSCE OF THE TWO KACES 



return, tlic problem of the coexistence of races is 
resolved in the most pacific manner in tlie Antilles. 
Among freemen, however little these freemen mav 
be Christianized, specific inequalities become speed- 
ily eflTaced, and the prejudice of skin is not found 
to be ultimately as insurmountable as v:e have 
been told. In these English colonies, which are 
true republics, governing themselves, and which also 
remind us, through this feature, of the Southern 
States, the blacks have come to be accepted as fel- 
low-citizens. They practise the liberal professions ; 
they are electors and often elected, for they form 
of themselves alone one-fifth of the Colonial Assem- 
bly at Jamaica ; tliey are oflicers of the police and 
the militia, and their authority never fails to be 
recognized by all. I named Jamaica just now. 
Some may seek to bring it as an argument against 
mc. The fact is, that this great island has seemed 
to form an . exception to the general prosperity ; 
considerable fortunes have been sunk there., and 
the transformation has been slower and more pain- 
ful there than elsewhere. But, when they arm 
themselves with these circumstances, they forget 
two things : first, that the causes of the malady 
were anterior to emancipation ; next, that the cure 
has come from emancipation itself. Before eman- 



AFTEK EMANCIPATION. 



203 



cipation, Jamaica was insolvent, her plantations 
were mortgaged beyond tlieir value, and its plant- 
ing was threatened in other ways far more than 
now. Do you know what has since happened? 
Difficulties which appeared insoluble have been 
resolved ; to-day, the cape is doubled, and men 
navigate in peace. At the present time, Jamaica 
comprises two or three hundred villages, inhabited 
by free negroes ; the latter are willing to work ; 
for, according to the latest information, (February, 
1861,) the price of daily labor decreases instead of 
rising. Among these free negroes, there are not 
less than ten thousand landholders, and three-eighths 
of the cultivated soil is in their hands. They have 
established sugar- mills everywhere, imperfect, rude, 
yet working in a passable manner ; and mills of 
this sort are numbered by thousands. The middle 
class of color thus grows richer day by day ; the 
families that compose it all own a horse or a mule ; 
they have their bank books and their accounts 
with the savings banks. Lastly, which is of more 
value than all else, the free negroes of Jamaica 
have built more than two hundred chapels, and as 
many schools. At the very moment when I write 
these lines, an enthusiastic religious movement is 
prevailing among them ; the rum-shops are aban- 



204 



COEXISTENCE OF TIIE TWO RACES 



doned, the most degraded classes enter in their turn 
the path of reformation. 

I should have been glad to cite our own colonies 
instead of confining myself to the English islands. 
I have been prevented from this, not only by the 
memory of the conflagrations of 1859 at Martinique, 
and of the state of siege which it became necessary 
to proclaim there, but, above all, by the circum- 
stance that the liberty of our former slaves has 
been too often restrained by means of the vagabond 
regulations, that labor has continued to be imposed 
on them to a certain j)oint ; that the parcelling out 
of property has been trammelled by fiscal meas- 
ures ; that, moreover, it is less the labor of our for- 
mer slaves tlian of the Coolies and others employed, 
which has secured the success of our experiment ; 
whence it follows that this success is far from being 
as conclusive as that which has been obtained else- 
where under the system of full liberty. îfevei-the- 
less, om' success, which is no less real, signifies 
something also. If we have not yet those little 
free villages, that class of small negro landholders 
of which I just spoke, we have, like the English, 
free negroes in our militia and in our marine ; like 
them, we have had our elections, and all classes of 
the population have taken part in them ; like them, 



AFIEK EXAXCIPATIOX. 



205 



and perhaps in a greater degree, we have increased 
onr sugar production since emancipation. It is 
true tliat the crisis of free trade has not yet passed 
among us, and that we cannot know how this would 
be supported by our colonial sugars. But it will not 
be long before we shall be informed on this point : 
by an act which we cannot but applaud, and which 
continues the work it has undertaken, the French 
government has just suppressed the protection con- 
tinued hitherto to our planters. If, ere long, as it 
is justifiable to hope, they are delivered from the 
charges of the colonial system, whose advantages 
they have lost, we shall see them struggle, and suc- 
cessfully, I am convinced, against the Spanish 
sugars produced by slave labor. 

It will be, perhaps, maintained, that the anti- 
pathy of race is stronger in the United States than 
elsewhere, and that the Americans, in this respect, 
are inferior to the Enorlish. I am as conscious as 
any one else of those infamous proceedings tow- 
ards free negroes which are the crime of the îs^orth, 
a crime no less odious than that of the South. 
What conscience is not aroused at the thought of 
those prejudices of skin which do not permit blacks 
to sit by the side of whites, in schools, churches, or 
public vehicles ? Only the other day, nothing less 



206 



COEXISTENCE OF THE TWO KACES 



than a denunciation in open parliament was needed 
to begin tlie destruction, hj a public rebuke, of the 
classification which is being made on the English 
steamers themselves between LiverjDool and New 
York. There are some new States which purely 
and simply exclude free negroes from their Terri- 
tory ; those which do not exclude them from the 
Territory, repulse them from the ballot-box. The 
injustice, in fine, is as gross, as crying, as it is pos- 
sible to imagine. 

Must we conclude from this that the co-exist- 
ence of races, possible elsewhere, is impossible in the 
United States ? I distrust those sweeping assertions 
which resolve problems at one stroke ; I refuse, above 
all, to admit so easily that iniquity must be maintained 
for the sole reason that it exists, and that it suffices 
to say : "I am thus made ; what would you have ? 
I cannot change myself," to abstract one's self 
from the accomj^lishment of the most elementary 
duty. To endure negroes at one's side, to respect 
their independence, to abstain from wrongs towards 
them, to consent to the . full exercise of their rights, 
is an elementary duty ; Christian duty, I need not 
say, demands something better. 

Does this mean that we are to set ourselves up 
as judges, and brand as wretches all those who thus 



AFTER EMANCIPATION. 



207 



I mistake tlie laws of cliarity and justice? I fear 
; mucli that, in their place, we would do precisely as 
A they. Living in the South, we would have slaves, 
and would defend slavery to the last ; living in the 
N'orth, we would tread under foot the free colored 
class. Is there then neither the true, nor the false, 
nor justice, nor injustice ? God forbid ! The just 
and the true r^nain ; iniquity should be condemned 
without pity ; but we are bound to be more indul- 

1 gent towards men than towards things. We are 

I bound to remember that the influence of surround- 
ings is enormous, and that, if crimes are always 
without excuse, there are many excusable criminals. 

"When we examine men by the prejudice of skin, 
such as prevails in the United States, we are not 
long in discovering that it rests in great part on a 
misunderstanding : men mistake coexistence for 

I amalgamation. I do not fear to affirm that the sec- 
ond would be as undesirable as the first would be de- 

I sirable. "Why dream of blending or "of assimilating 
the two races ? Why pursue as an ideal frequent 
marriages between them, and the formation of a 
third race : that of mulattoes ? America does right 
to resist such ideas, and to inscribe her testimony 
against such a future, evidently very little in con- 
formity with the designs of God. 



208 COEXISTENCE OF THE TWO KACE3 

But coexistence by no means draws amalgama- 
tion in its train. On this point, also, experience 
has spoken. In the English colonies, the liberty of 
the blacks is entire, the legal equality of the two 
races is not contested, public manners have shaped 
them selves to that mutual consideration without 
which they could not live together ; yet neither 
amalgamation nor assimilation is in^ question, and 
the aristocracy of skin remams what it should be, a 
lasting distinction, accepted on both sides, between 
races which are not designed to mingle together. I 
do not know that many marriages are contracted 
between the whites and the négresses of Jamaica, 
and I believe that the class of mulattoes increases 
much more rapidly under slavery than with liberty. 
Look in this respect at what takes j^lace even now 
in the United States : as quadroons sell better than 
blacks, mixtures of white or almost white slaves 
abound there, and the unhappy women who refuse 
to lend themselves to certain combinations are often 
whij)ped in punishment. 

With liberty, each race can at least remain by it- 
self ; with it, there can be co-existence without amalga- 
mation ; both mingling and hostility can be prevent- 
ed. This is the more easy, inasmuch as the negroes, 
with the gentleness of their race, willingly accept 



AFTER e:m:axcipatiox. 



209 



the second place, and by no means demaiid Avliat ^e 
insist on refusing tliem. Let their liberty be com- 
plete, let legal equality and friendly relations be 
maintained, and they will ask no more. 

But they will ask no less, and they arc right. I 
do not understand, in truth, why so harmless a co- 
existence should be so long repulsed by the en- 
lightened people of the United States. There are 
negroes in Spanish America who have reached the 
highest grades of the army, and who show as much 
intelligence, decorum, and dignity in command as 
white men could do. I myself have seen at Paris, 
a clergyman of ebony blackness, who was really 
the most distinguished, unexceptionable man that it 
was possible to meet ; he was a remarkable scholar, 
and had received the title of doctor from several 
European universities. 

In fact, the negroes arc oiu' fellows and our 
equals much more than we imagine; they adaj^t 
themselves better than the Indians to our civiliza- 
tion. They seek to be instructed, and not only do 
the free blacks of the English islands hasten, as we 
have seen, to provide themselves with teachers, but 
even those of the United States, crushed as they are 
by contemptuous treatment, neglect no means of 
introducing their children into the 'schools, where 



210 



COEXISTENCE OF THE TWO KACE3 



is found one-nintli of tlieir total number. In Li- 
beria, thej have shown themselves hitherto very 
capable of ruling. In Hayti, since their deliverance 
from the ridiculous and odious yoke of Soulouque, 
thej have advanced rapidly, it is affirmed, in the 
way of true progress ; legal mamages increase, 
popular instruction is becoming established, relig- 
ious liberty is respected. Lastly, in the negro 
colony of Buxton, in Canada, the fugitive slaves 
have become industrious landholders, and are 
respected by alL 

Let us not say that prejudice of skin is inde- 
structible ; the suppression of slavery may modify 
it profoundly. "What degrades the free negro to- 
day, is the existence of the negro slave. To be 
respectable, we all need to be respected. The poor, 
free negro is ashamed of himself ; he dares not as- 
pire to any thing noble and great ; he preserves, be- 
sides, as the legacy of slavery, the idea that labor is 
dishonoring, that idleness is a sign of independence. 
This is enough to make him remain a stranger to 
honorable occupations, and confine himself to the 
practice of vile trades. When slavery shall have 
disappeared, the situation of the free blacks will be- 
come quite different : they will be numerous ; they 
will have an appreciable share in the regulation of 



AFTER EMANCIPATION. 



211 



national affairs ; tlieir vote will count, and, tlience- 
forth, we may be tranquil, no one will be afraid to 
treat tliem with respect, and 2:>erliaps to pay conrt 
to them. 

The law of New York, as well as the Supreme 
Court of that State, has already admitted that color 
exercises no influence over the . rights of citizens. 
The time draws near when the North will no longer 
contest the intervention of free negroes at the ballot- 
box. This will be a great step in advance. Let 
us remark, moreover, that, after general emancipa- 
tion, the black population, while exercising its share 
of influence, will never be able, through the number 
of suffrages at its disposal, to alarm the jealous sus- 
ceptibility of the whites ; the latter, in fact, will be 
continually recruited by European immigration, and 
the day will come when the few negroes of the 
United States will be scarcely perceptible in the 
heart of a gigantic nation. 

The honor of the North is at stake ; it belongs 
to it to give an example at this time, and to show, 
by the reform of its own habits, that it has the right 
to combat the crime of the South. It must set to 
work seriously, resolutely, to resolve the problem 
of the coexistence of races, while the South re- 
solves, willing or unwilling, the problem of eman- 



212 COEXISTENCE OF THE ÏAVO EACES 

cipation. Liberty in the South, equality in the 
North ; the one is no less necessary than the other ; 
it may even be said that one great obstacle to the 
idea of emancipation is this other idea that blacks 
and whites cannot live together, bnt that one must 
some day exterminate the other. 

Why suffer the establishment of this lying 
axiom which checks all progress? Why not cast 
our eyes on the neighboring colonies where the 
prejudice of color reigned supremely before eman- 
cipation, and where it has since become rapidly 
effaced. The United States have a lofty end to at- 
tain ; let them beware how they take too low an 
aim ! They will not have more than they need, 
with the efforts of all, the charity of all, the sacri- 
fices of all, the earnest endeavors by which all can 
elevate themselves above vulgar prejudices, to ac- 
complish a task at once the most diflBcult and most 
glorious that has ever been proposed to a great 
people. 

The North, I repeat, is bound to give a noble ex- 
ample by obtaining a shining victory over itself. Let 
it say to itself that coexistence is not amalgama- 
tion ; the question is not to marry negroes, but to treat 
them with justice. The fear of amalgamation once 
vanished, many things will change in appearance. 



AFTEK EMANCIPATION. 



213 



Why, in fact, is the prejudice of race stronger in 
the free States than in the slave States ? Because 
the latter know that slavery is a sufficient line of 
demarcation, and because they have not to dread 
amalgamation. Xow, this is and will be nowhere to 
be dreaded ; the instinct of both races will prevent 
such mingling, and the blacks are as anxious to re- 
main separate from the whites as the whites are to 
avoid alliance with the blacks. As I have said, 
nothing but slavery, and the perverse habits that it 
engenders, could have succeeded in some sort in 
breaking down this barrier. If the class of mul- 
lattoes thus formed rule in some republics of South 
America, it proceeds from the absence of a nu- 
merous and powerful white race, like that which is 
covering the United States with its continually in- 
creasing population. 

Decidedly, 'fears of amalgamation are puerile in 
such a country ; and decidedly also, any other solu- 
tion than the coexistence of races would be wrong. 
Doubtless, a natural concentration of the emancipa- 
ted negroes will be some day effected ; they will 
flock to those States where their relative number 
will ensure to them the most influence. Perhaps 
we may even obtain a glimpse of the time when, by 
the result of a providential compensation, the coun- 



214 



COEXISTENCE OF THE PwACES 



tries wliicli have been the witnesses of their suffer- 
ings, and which they have watered with their tears, 
these countries where they, better than any others, 
can devote themselves to labor, will belong to them 
in great part. Are the Antilles and the regions a? 
the Gulf of Mexico destined to become the refuge 
and almost the empire of Africans torn from their 
own continent? It is possible, but not certain. In 
any case, this geographical repartition of the races 
would be wrought peaceably ; the effort to effect it 
by violent measures would justly arouse the con- 
science of the human race. So long as we talk of 
transporting the blacks to Africa, to St. Domingo, 
or elsewhere, so long as the j^caceable coexistence 
of the races be not accepted, the barbarous pro- 
ceedings w^hicli dishonor America will not cease, 
the Northern States will maltreat their free negroes, 
and the South w^ill cling to slavery as to the only 
means of preventing a struggle for extermination. 

At the North as well as the South, men need to 
accustom themselves in fine to the idea of coexist- 
ence. Yes, there will be whites and free blacks in 
various parts of the Union ; yes, it is certain that in 
some parts, the black population Avill be possessed 
of influence ; it may even happen that, in one or 
two points of the extreme South, it will come to 



AFTEK EMAI^CIPATION. 



215 



rule. If this hypothesis, improbable in my opinion, 
should ever be realized, it would not be a cause of 
shame, but of glory, to the Union. It is said that 
tlie great Indian tribes of the Southwest think of 
forming a State, which will demand admission into 
the Union, and which has a chance to obtain it. 
Why should there not be, at need, a negro State by 
the side of 'an Indian State ? This reparation would 
be fully due to the oppressed race, and America 
would be honored in treading her repugnance undeï 
foot, and in showing to the whole world that her so 
much vaunted liberty is not a vain word. 

She would show, at the same time, that her 
Christian faith is not a vain formality. If the de- 
sire of avoiding amalgamation has legitimate 
grounds, the antipathy of race is simply abomina- 
ble. Words cannot be found severe enough to cen- 
sure the conduct of those Christians who, pursuing 
with their indignation the slavery of the South, re- 
fuse to fulfil the simplest duties of kindness, or 
even of common equity, towards the free negroes of 
the îsTorth. 

But I hope that the Gospel, accustomed to work 
miracles, will also work this. Let us be just ; we 
have already seen the pious ladies of Philadelphia 
lavishing tlieir cares on black and white without 



^ 216 



COEXISTENCE OF THE EACE3 



distinction at the time of the cholera invasion, 
ïhej washed and dressed with their own hands, in 
the hospital which thej had founded, the children 
rendered orphans by the scourge, without taking 
account of the diflerences of color. This is a sign 
of progress, and I could cite several others; I could 
name cities, Chicago, for instance, where the schools 
are opened by law to the blacks as well as the 
whites. There is a power in the United States 
which will overthrow the obstacle of the North as 
well as that of the South, which will abolish both 
slavery and prejudice of skin. 

This power has shown in the Antilles what it 
can do. There, pastors and missionaries, schools, 
works of charity pursued in common, have placed 
on a level the blacks and the whites, devoted to the 
same cause, and ransomed by the same Saviour. In 
the United States, likewise, the Christian faith will 
raise up the one, and will teach the others to hum- 
ble themselves ; it ^ill destroy the vices of the 
negi'o, and will break the detestable pride of the 
Anglo-Saxon. The real influence of faith on both — 
this is the true solution, this is the true bond of the 
races. Through this, will be established relations 
of mutual love and respect. "What a mission is re- 
served for the churches of the United States ! 



AFTER EMANCIPATION. 



217 



Checked hitherto by enormous difficulties, which it 
would be unjust not to take into account, they 
have not acted the j)art in the recent struggle 
against slavery which reverted to them of right. 
They have done a great deal, whatever may be said ; 
they are disposed to do still more, and their attitude 
has imj)roved visibly Avithin a year. But this can- 
not suffice ; there are two problems to resolve in- 
stead of one ; the question is now, to approach both 
face to face. True equality is founded, under the 
eye of God, through the community of hopes and of 
repentance, through close association in worship, in 
prayer, in action ; and this equality has nothing in 
common with the jealous spirit of levelling Vv^hich 
sujffers old grievances to subsist, and continually in- 
vents new ; it is peaceable, forgetful of evil, confid- 
in*g, truly fraternal. I do not dream, of course, of 
the universal cunversion of the population of the 
United States, both black and w^hite ; I know only 
that the Gospel, though it deeply penetrates com- 
paratively few hearts, extends its influence much 
further, and acts on those that it has not won. Let 
the Christians of America set to work, let them re- 
ject, for it is time, the scandals still presented here 
and there by their apologists for slavery, let them 

forbear to spare that which is culpable, to call good 
10 



218 



COEXISTENCE OF THE RACES 



evil, or evil good, and they will render to their 
country a service which they alone can render it, 
and to which nothing on earth can be compared. 

The United States do not know how great will 
be the transformation of their internal condition, 
and the increase of their good renown abroad, when 
their churches, their schools, their public vehicles, 
their ballot-boxes, shall be widely accessible to per- 
sons of color, when equality and liberty shall have 
become realities on their soil ; they do not know 
how great will be their peace and their prosperity. 
Let the two inseparable problems of slavery and the 
coexistence of races be resolved among them under 
the ruling influence of the Gospel, and they will 
witness the birth of a future far better than the 
past. No more fears, no more rivalries, no more 
separations in perspective, their conquests will be- 
come accomplished of themselves ; and, no longer 
destined to swell the domain of servitude, they will 
w^in the applause of the entire world. 

And all this will not be purchased, as men seem 
to believe, by the sacrifice of the cotton culture. 
At the present time, this culture incurs but one 
serious risk : the momentary triumph of a party that 
dreams of a slavery propaganda ; it will be saved 
^lone by the progress of liberty. On the day when 



AFTErw EMANCIPATION. 



219 



emancipation shall be achievedj if wrought by the 
action of moral agents and social necessities, instead 
of by that of civil wars and insurrections, the culti- 
vation of cotton in the Southern States will receive 
the impetus to a magnificent development. The 
emancipated negroes make large quantities of sugar 
in the Antilles ; why should they not make cotton 
on firm ground ? If aff*ranchisement produced^hc 
destruction of i)lanting in St. Domingo, w^e know 
now the reason. It is a proved fact that negroes 
who do not owe their liberty to insurrection, re- 
main disposed to devote themselves to labor in the 
fields. 

"With slavery, observe, disappear, one after the 
other, the obstacles in the way of agricultural pro- 
gress. The capital which no one dares risk to-day 
in the Southern States, will flow into them emu- 
lously as soon as slavery shall be abolished ; I say 
more : as soon as its progressive abolition shall be 
no longer doubtful in the sight of all. European im- 
migration, the current of which turns aside with so 
much circumspection, avoiding a territory accursed 
and given over to calamities, will flock towards 
those countries more beautiful, more fertile, and 
broader than those of the Far West. Machinery 
will come, to more than fill up the void caused by 



220 



COEXISTENCE OF THE EACES 



the passing diminution of the number of laborers. 
The slaves can be intrusted with none but the sim- 
plest implements : every one knows that the plough, 
introduced originally into our French colonies, 
disappeared to make room for the hoe as soon as 
Colbert had authorized the slave trade. Ploughs 
have reappeared there since emancipation. Tlieir 
ag^cultural and industrial progress date from the 
same epoch : to-day, our colonists understand the 
use of manures, and make improvements in manu- 
facture. A new era is dawning, in fine ; what will 
it be in the United States, among that people 
which seems destined to surpass all others in the 
application of mechanics to agriculture ? 

Still, I have made one concession too much in 
admitting the diminution of the number of laborers. 
Supposing that a few negroes quit the field, many 
whites will come to take their place. "White labor 
is fully possible in the majority of the slave States, 
and immigrants from Europe will not hesitate to 
engage in it. Wherever slavery reigns, it is that, 
and not the climate, that must be arraigned if the 
whites fold their hands ; labor has become there a 
fcrvile act — it is blighted, as it were, in its essence, 
à. competent writer said the other day : " If Alge- 
ria had been subjected to the sway of slavery, cul- 



AFTER EMANCIPATION. 



221 



tiyation there would have been reputed impracti- 
cable for the French, and examples of mortality 
would not have been wanting." The whites have 
labored in the Antilles ; the whites can labor, not 
only in all the slave States of the intermediate re- 
gion, but in Louisiana. Cotton is already produced 
in Texas, thanks to its German settlers. The ques- 
tion is only, to go on in this way. Slavery once 
abolished, the small proprietors, who at present 
carry all the criminal extravagancies of the South 
further than any others, will be compelled to set 
their hands to work. This will be an advantage 
both to the country and themselves. Who will 
not pray for the coming of the time when so con- 
siderable a part of the population will cease to pos- 
sess slaves which it is incapable of feeding, when 
it will be transformed into the middle class, and 
thus escape the real servitude which embitters it ? 

Moreover, let us not forget new cultures, that 
of the vine among others, which are fitted to be- 
come introduced into these new countries, or to de- 
velop there, and which lack nothing but liberty in 
order to flourish. The arts and manufactures also 
have their place ; independently of the tillers of 
the soil, properly called, the Southern States will 
have need of workmen in manufactories, and of 



222 



COEXISTENCE OF THE RACES 



managers of agricultural machines ; large planta- 
tions will often become divided, as lias happened 
in the Antilles, and we shall witness the appearance 
of the small estate, that essential basis of social 
order. There will be employment for all, and the 
rich Southern cultures will be less neglected than 
before. 

Whoever has descended the Ohio has involun- 
tarily compared its two banks : here, the State of 
Ohio, whose prosperity advances wdtli rapid strides ; 
there, the State of Kentucky, no less favored by 
ISTature, yet which languishes as if abandoned. 
Why ? Because slavery blights all that it touches. 
Could not the whites of Kentucky and Virginia 
labor as well as those of Ohio ? The comparative 
poverty of these slave States reminds me of the 
destitution of our colonies and those of England 
before emancipation : mortgaged estates, planta- 
tions burdened with expenses, the complete destruc- 
tion of credit — such was their position. We must 
read American statistics to form an idea of the 
truly unheard-of extent of this fact — impoverish- 
ment by slavery. With a larger extent and much 
richer lands, the slave States possess neither agri- 
cultural growth, nor industrial growth, nor advance 
of population, which can be compared far or near 



AFTER EMAKCIPATION. 



223 



with that which is found in the free States. A 
book by Mr. Hinton Eowan Helper, The Impend- 
ing Crisis of the Soitth^ expresses these differences 
in figures so significant that it is impossible to con- 
test them. 

The Southern States, therefore, are certain to 
increase their cultures, and to found their lasting 
prosperity by entering the path that leads to eman- 
cipation. But if they take the contrary road, they 
will hasten to their destruction, and with strange 
rapidity. Already, their violent acts of secession, 
and the monstrous plans which are necessarily at- 
tached to them, have had the first eff*ect, easily 
foreseen, of dealing a most dangerous blow to 
American cotton. In a few weeks, they have done 
themselves more harm than the Xorth, supposing 
its hostility as great as it is little, could have done 
them in twenty years. The meeting of Manchester 
lias replied to the manifestoes of Charleston ; Eng- 
land has said to herself, that, from men so deter- 
mined to destroy themselves, she should count on 
nothing ; and, having taken her resolution, she will 
proceed with it speedily ; let the Southern States 
take care. English India can produce as much 
cotton as America ; before long, if the Carolinians 
persist, they will have obtained the glorious result 



224 



COEXISTENCE OF THE EACES 



of despoiling their coimtry of its chief resource ; 
they will have killed the hen that laid the golden 
eggs. The matter is serious ; I ask them to reflect 
on it. As England^ under pain of falling into 
want and riots^ cannot dispense with cotton for a 
single day, she will act energetically. Cotton 
grows marvellonsly in many countries ; in the An- 
tilles, where it has been produced already ; in Al- 
geria, where the plantations are about to be in- 
creased ; on the whole continent of Africa, in fine, 
where it enters perhaps into the plans of God thus 
to make a breach in indigenous slavery by the 
faults committed by slaveholders in America. 



CHAPTER X. 



THE PRESENT CRISIS WILL REGENERATE THE INSTITU- 
TIONS *0F THE UNITED STATES. 

It remains for me to inquire what influence the 
present crisis may exert on the institutions of the 
United States. It is at the exj)ense of these insti- 
tutions that the slave States, inferior in strength, in 
numbers, in progress of every kind, would reestab- 
lish their fatal and growing preponderance. Here 
again, therefore, my thesis subsists : the victories oi 
the South had compromised every thing, the resist- 
ance of the IN^orth is about to save every thing ; the 
election of Mr. Lincoln is a painful but salutary 
crisis, it is the first effort of a great people rising. 

The party of slavery had introduced into the 
heart of American democracy, a permanent cause 
of debasement and corruption. In this respect, 
also, it was leading the Contederation to its death 
by the most direct and speedy way. I wish to show 
10- 



226 THE PRESENT CKISIS WILL KEGENEKATE 

how it developed the worst sides of the democratic 
STstem. I hope to be impartial towards this sys- 
tem ; although persuaded that the govermnent of 
which England oflers us the model is better suited 
to guaranty public liberties and to second true prog- 
ress in every thing, I am not of those who place 
the shadow before the substance, and who condemn 
democracy without appeal. Are we destined some 
day to pass into its hands ? Have we already 
begun to glide down the descent that leads to it ? 
It is possible. In any case, it would be unjust to 
hate America on account of it, as is too often done. 
America has had no choice ; in virtue of its origin 
and its history, it could be nothing else than a de- 
mocracy. If it has the faults of democracy, the 
unamiable rudeness, the violent proceedings, the 
levelling passions, I am scarcely surprised at it. I 
ask myself rather if it has known how to find a basis 
of support agaiust the temptations of such a sys- 
tem, il it has prevented the subjugation of individ- 
uals by the mass, the absorption of consciences by 
the State, the substitution of the sovereignty of the 
end for that of the people. These are the shoals of 
democracy ; have they been shunned by the United 
States ? Have they been able to avoid transforming 
it either into tyranny or socialism ? 'We shall see 



THE DsSTTTUTIOXS OF THE r^N'ITED STATES. 227 



that, if it has not succumbed to the temptation, this 
has not been the fault of the party of slavery. 
Thanks to it, the corruption of democratic institu- 
tions was rapidly advancing ; a single adversary, 
constantly the same, has combated the progress of 
this Tvork of destruction. We shall encounter 
again, upon the gi'ound of political institutions, the 
fundamental antagonism of the Gospel and slavery. 

I say first, that it is rarely that names are alto- 
gether fortuitous, and do not correspond to things. 
It has often given rise to astonishment that the 
party of slavery should have taken the name of the 
democratic party ; notwithstanding, nothing was 
more natural. How could slavery have been de- 
fended if not by exaggerating democracy ? It was 
necessary, in such a cause, to deny the notions of 
right, of truth, and of justice ; it was necessary that 
the greater number should become right, truth, and 
justice. 

Something more even was needed. The sover- 
eignty of the end must yield, if necessary, before the 
sovereignty of numbers. A cause like that of 
slavery is only defended in the heart of a demo- 
cratic nation, by teaching it contempt of scruples, 
and the stifling of the conscience. Every thing 
is allowable, every thing is good, provided that we 



228 THE PEESENÏ CRISIS WILL KEGEKERATE 

succeed in our ends! This is the rule which it 
designs shall prevail iii political contests. A single 
question, seeing nothing but itself, determined ta 
spare nothing, offering itself to parties, whoever they 
may be, who seek a change, creating factitious ma- 
jorities to effect the ends of base ambition, taking 
account neither of honor nor country, and attaining 
its end through every thing — this is enough to vi- 
tiate profoundly institutions and morals. The sov- 
ereignty of the idea, when it has laid hands on the 
sovereignty of the people, is in a position to go 
to great lengtlis, and to sink very low. Moral 
maxims and written laws are trodden under foot, 
a struggle without pity or remorse begins, a strug- 
gle of life and death. Social passions easily acquire 
a degree of perversity which political passions do 
not possess ; the former are without conscience and 
without compassion; they will be satisfied, cost 
what it may ; triumph is in their eyes an absolute, 
an inexorable necessity. Rather than not conquer, 
they will rend the country. 

"What the regular working of institutions be- 
comes under such a pressure, every one can didne. 
For some years past, in proportion as the preten- 
sions of the slavery party had increased, we had seen 
public morals become tainted in the United States. 



THE LNSÏITUTIONS OF THE EDITED STATES. 229 



Indifference to means had made alarming progress, 
and had been felt even in the habits of commerce, 
and the relations of private life. The spii'it of en- 
terprise had come to be exalted even in its most 
dishonorable acts ; respect for bankrupts seemed 
almost to be propagated. It is a fact, that men like 
Mr. Jefferson Davis, the present President of the 
revolted South, were not afraid to recommend the 
repudiation of debts. In the school of slavery, a 
disembarrassed and unscrupulous manner of acting 
had given its stamp to the general manner of the 
nation. Affah's were going on rapidly, the liberties 
of America were on the high road to ruin ; it was 
time that the reaction of liberal and honorable sen- 
timents should make itself felt. The ele-cticn of 1S60 
marked the stopping-place. 

I wonder that they could have stopped ; such a 
fact demands an explanation, for ordinarily the de- 
clivities of democratic decline are never remounted. 
Tlie natural tendency there being to deny the right 
of the minority, (the most precious of all.) to sink 
the man entire in the ballot, to lay violent hands on 
the private portion of his life, and to force even his 
conscience into the social contract, it follows that 
governments arise in which the Cjuestion of limita- 
tion becomes effaced by the question of origin. In 



230 THE PRESENT CRISIS WILL REGENERATE 

the face of sucli a power, nothing is left standing ; 
no more rights, no more principles, no more of Ihose 
solid and resisting blocks which serve to stem the 
popular current ; the province of the State becomes 
indefinite. 

And how much more irresistible and more per- 
verse is this tendency, when a profound cause of 
corruj)tion, such as slavery, adds its action to the 
strength of such democracies ! It is no longer, in 
such cases, the sovereign majority alone before 
which the right may be forced to bow, it is a party 
determined to attain its ends, which penetrates with 
violence into that domain of conscience where 
human laws should not enter ; a party which sets 
about regulating sometimes the belief, sometimes 
the thought, sometimes the speech. Such has been 
the influence exercised in the United States by the 
institution of slavery ; it has forbidden authors to 
write, clergymen to preach, and almost individuals 
to think any thing that displeased it ; it has invented 
the right of secession, in order to have at its disj)osal 
a formidable means of intimidation, and to place 
a threat behind each of its demands. To yield, to 
descend, to descend still further, to obey a contin- 
ued impulse of democratic debasement, such is the 
course to which it has impelled the whole Confede- 
ration. 



THE IN'STITUTIOXS OF THE UXITED STATES. 231 

Notwithstanding, the United States have resist- 
ed. I shall tell why ; I shall show by virtue of 
what marvellons force Americans have escaped the 
absolute levelling which seemed destined to be pro- 
duced by a complicated democracy of slavery. But 
I wish first to finish depicting the natural eflects of 
such a system. 

Suppose for a moment a nation (and such are 
not wanting) modelled after the antique. The Pa- 
gan principle reigns there supremely, the State ab- 
sorbs every thing, souls are banded together and 
governed ; a centralized power, a visible Providence, 
is substituted for individual action ; creeds have es- 
sentially the hereditary and national form ; each one 
believes what the rest believe, each one does what 
the rest do, each one holds the opinions which are 
found in the ancient traditions of the country ; truth 
is no longer a personal conviction, acquired at the 
price of earnest struggles, and worth much because 
it has cost much ; it descends to the rank of customs 
to which it is fitting to conform, it has its marked 
place among social obligations, and forms part of 
the duties of the citizen. 

Let democracy come to establish its empire in the 
heart of such a nation, and you will see with what 
rapidity eveiy thing will disappear that bears the 



232 THE PRESENT CRISIS WILL REGENERATE 

slightest resemblance to individual independence. 
The more effectual the levelling, the greater will seem 
the community ; and the smaller the individual, the 
more, too, in face of the privileges of the whole, will 
the very idea of personal rights become effaced. The 
majority is held infallible, and the minority appears 
criminal if it takes the liberty of refusing to subject 
its thoughts (yes, its very thoughts) to that of the 
majority. In this innumerable host of like beings, 
no. one is authorized to possess any thing in private ; 
of all aristocracies, that of the conscience appears 
then least endurable. Men believe in the majority, 
in the mass, in the nation. We have no idea of the 
intellectual despotism of a democracy which fails to 
encounter on its road the obstacle of personal con- 
victions ; it disposes of the human soul, it creates 
an unlimited confidence in the judgment of public 
opinion, it heads a school of popular courtiers, and 
teaches each one the art of setting his watch by the 
clock of the market-place. 

Intelligence, conscience, convictions — all bend, 
and what does not bend is broken. This hap- 
pens, above all, we repeat without wearying, when 
a detestable cause like that of slavery perverts the 
working of democratic institutions. Then, the tyr- 
anny of the majorities has no bounds ; the major- 



THE INSTITUTIONS OF THE UNITED STATES. 233 



ities tliemselves are formed bv means of ignoble 
contracts and monstrous alliances. In the midst 
of lower j)assions let loose, tlirongli banded parties, 
imperative mandates, and factitious organizations, 
which no lono-er leave the smallest outlet for the 
fliglit of the least independent wish, the perversities 
of corrupt and misled democracy have full scope. 

In writing these pages, have I described Amer- 
ican democracy ? Yes and no. Yes, for such are 
really the temptations to which America has been 
exposed, such are really the vices with which it 
might have often been reproached ; no, for a prin- 
ciple of resistance has always revealed itself in the 
darkest moments, an iiTcpressible something has 
always remained. In vain the heavy roller has 
passed and repassed over the gromid ; it has always 
encountered blocks of c-ranite that would not be 
broken. This is the point which I had at heart to 
signal out in closing this study, knowing that it 
forms its most essential part, and that whoever has 
not given it his attention cannot comprehend the 
United States. Tlie extraordinary fact, much more 
extraordinary than is supposed, that, under the s^^s- 
tem of democracy ruled by slavery, men have been 
able to pause and retrace their steps, is only ex- 
plained by the peculiar form which religious belief 



234: THE PRESENT CRISIS AVILL REGEXEEATE 

has put on in the United States. We have not bo- 
fore our eyes a Latin nation, a nation clad in the 
vestments of Greece or Eome, a nation having, 
according to the ancient mode, its rehgion and its' 
usages universally but indolently admitted. Tliis 
republic of the aSow TTorld is by no means one. of 
those slave republics of ancient times, in which the 
citizens took delight in conversing on public affairs, 
but in which no one had the bad taste to question 
his conscience with respect to the public creeds. 
The pagan life, with its obligatory worship, its com- 
mon education, its suppression of the family and 
the individual in behalf of the State, its existence 
transported to the Forum ; the pagan life, in which 
the citizen absorbs the individual, and in which the 
calm and serene uniformity of indifferent centuries 
ends, by giving to each one the national physiog- 
nomy, bears no resemblance to the moral and social 
life of the United States. 

Among them, not the smallest trace is found of 
that system which seeks to make nations, and which 
forgets to make men. They were born, as we may 
say, of a protestation of the human conscience. A 
noble origin, which explains many things ! It is, 
in fact, the revindication of religious independence 
against religious uniformity, and the established 



THE INSTITUTIONS OF THE UNITED STATES. 235 



clmrcli whicli created it two hundred years ago. 
Of course, I have not to examine hero the intrinsic 
value of the Puritan doctrines. I content myself 
with affirming that they landed in America in the 
name of liberty, that they were destined to establish 
liberty there, that they were destined to build there 
the true rampart against democratic tyranny. 

From the first day, the State was deprived of 
the direction of the intellectual and moral man. 
Despite that inevitable mixture of inconsistencies 
and hesitation which marks our first efforts in all 
things, the Puritan colonies, destined one day to be- 
come the United States, set out on the road which led 
to liberty of belief, of thoughts, of speech, of the press, 
of assemblage, of instruction. The most consider- 
able, most important rights were abstracted at the 
outset from the domain of democratic deliberations ; 
insuperable bounds were set to the sovereignty of 
numbers ; the right of minorities, that of the indi- 
vidual, the right of remaining alone against all 
others, the right of being of one's own opinion, was 
reserved. Furthermore, they did not delay to 
break the bonds between the Church and the State 
entirely, in such a manner as to deprive the official 
superintendence of belief of its last pretext. Self- 
government was founded, that is, the most formal 



23G 



THE PEESEIsT CKISIS ^VILL KEGEisEEATE 



negation of subjugation by tlic democracy. AVliile 
the latter tends to the maximum of government, the 
American Government tends to the minimum of 
government, that form excellence of liberalism. 
And it does not tend thither, as in the Middle Ages, 
by anarchy, by the absence of national ties, and 
moreover by despoiling the individual of his rights 
of conscience and thought, confiscated tlien more 
entirely for the benefit of a sovereign church than 
they have been since for the benefit of the State; 
^ife no, American individualism proceeds diflferently : if 

it restrains with salutary vigor the province of gov- 
ernments, it is to enlarge that of the human soul. 

This is a great conquest; the Avliole future of 
the modern world is contained in it. Destined as we 
are to submit, in a measure at least, to the action 
of democracy, the question whether we shall be 
slaves or free men is resolved in this : shall we, after 
the example of America, have our reserved tribunal, 
our closed domain in which the public power shall 
be permitted to see nothing? Shall there be things 
among us (the most important of all) which shall 
not be put to the vote ? Shall our democracy have 
its boundaries, and beyond these boundaries shall a 
vast country be seen to extend — that of free belief, 
of free worship, of free thought, of the free home ? 



TUE INSTITUTIONS OF THE UNITED STATES. 237 



It is because American democracy lias bounda- 
ries tliat its worst excesses Iiave finally found chas- 
tisement. It is not installed alone in the United 
States ; opposite it, another power which knows no 
fear, is occupied with resisting it. The entire 
history of America is explained by this double fact : 
the falling and the rising again, the servitudes and 
the liberties, the too long triumph of the slavery 
party, and the recent victory of Mr. Lincoln, the 
deadly peril so lately incurred, and the noble future 
that opens to-day. 

Individualism is not isolation, individual con- 
victions are not sectarian convictions ; they found 
on the contrary the most powerful of the unities, 
moral unity. The thing which most actively dis- 
solves societies while seeming to unite them, is the 
uniformity of national dogmas which, accepted as 
an inheritance, remain without action over the 
heart. What are, in fact, the great bonds on earth, 
if not duty and affection ? Now, nothing but per- 
sonal convictions, earnestly acquired by the sweat 
of our brow, can destroy selfishness in us, "Without 
this strong cement of convictions at once individual 
and common, you will build nothing that will en- 
dm^e. The United States have in their heart strong 
convictions, which are also common convictions ; 



238 TUB PRESENT CRISIS WILL KEGENEKATE 



through external diversities, we have seen that fun- 
damental conformity is real, and all earnest appeal 
to Christian truths agitates this country, so divided 
in appearance, from one end to the other. National 
life is here a reality. I do not think that Socialism, 
which excuses us from believing ourselves, which 
places our soul under responsible administration, 
* and preserves us, it is said, from the baleful dis- 
ruptions engendered by individualism, succeeds as 
well in destroying selfishness and in diffusing ideas 
of devotion and duty. "When democracy becomes 
socialistic, (and it never has been able to become so 
in the United States,) it grinds down and reduces 
souls to such a degree that nothing is left but a fine 
dust, a sort of intellectual and moral powder which, 
it is true, is an obstacle to nothing, but which 
creates nothing either. To build an edifice, stones 
are needed, sand will not suffice. 

Christian individualism makes the stones, and 
the democratic party has just perceived it. In a 
country where independence of soul has acclimated 
independence in all its forms, men may indeed bow 
the head sometimes to democracy allied to slavery 
but this debasement has a limit, and the time is 
coming when they will raise their heads. Strong 
beliefs are a strong rampart, the slaves of truth are 



THE INSTITUTIONS OF THE UNITED STATES. 239 

free men, and true independence begins in tlie 
heart. To have convictions in order to have char- 
acters, to have believers in order to have citizens, 
to have energetic minds in order to have powerful 
nations, to have resistance in order to have support 
— such is the programme of individualism. Show 
me a country where men are proud enough not to 
bow before the majority, where they do not think 
themselves lost when they depart from the beaten 
track, and jostle of received opinions ; and I will 
admit that there it will be possible to practise 
democracy without falling into servitude. 

There is but one country of individual belief, 
that could attempt the alliance, hitherto deemed 
impossible, of democracy and liberty. ITie theory 
in accordance with whicli the public liberties of 
England have the aristocracy for their essential 
basis, is admitted as an axiom ; without contemning 
this element of social organization, it is advisable 
to mine deeper than this to discover the true foun- 
dation of liberty. Individual belief — this is the 
foundation. Tlie more we reflect, the more we 
discover that the essential thing is not the forms 
of government, or even the relations of the differ- 
ent classes, but the moral state of the community. 
Axe men there ? Have souls become masters of 



240 THE PPwESENT CRISIS WILL KEGENEEATE 



tliemselves ? Are cliaracters formed ? Has the 
force of resistance appeared ? Whoever shall have 
replied to these questions will have decided, know- 
ingly or unknowingly, whether liberty be possible. 

I do not know that any people should be ex- 
cluded from liberty ; only all are bound to pursue 
it by the path that leads to it, by earnestness of 
convictions, by internal affranchisement, which sig- 
nifies by the Gospel. We may seek in vain, we 
shall find no means comparable to this (I speak in 
the political point of view) when the question is to 
make citizens. To place one's self imder the abso- 
lute authority of God and his word, is to acquire in 
the face of.mere parties, majorities, general opinions, 
an independence that nothing can supply. Tlie 
independence within is always translated without ; 
he who is independent of men, in the domain of 
beliefs and of thoughts, will be equally so in the 
domain of public affairs. Thus democracy itself 
will not degenerate into socialism. No one has 
been able to point out the slightest symptom of 
socialism in the United States. Notwithstanding, 
democracy is fully complete there, and the election 
of Mr. Lincoln, once drover, once flatboatman, 
once rail-splitter, once clerk — of Mr. Lincoln, the 
^on of his works, who has succeeded by his own 



THE INSTITUTIONS OF THE UNITED STATES. 241 

powers in becoming a well-informed man and an 
orator, this election proves certainly that American 
equality is not menaced by the success of the re- 
jDublican party. It menaces only the evil democra- 
cy, which, under the guidance of the slavery party, 
sought to force the nation into the path of socialism. 
But it will not succeed in this ; the question has 
just been decided. Between these two systems, 
which are to contend for contemporaneous commu- 
nities, between socialism and individualism, the 
choice of the United States is made. 

Before witnessing the affranchisement of the 
slaves, we shall, therefore, witness the affranchise- 
ment of American politics. They have endured a 
shameful yoke, and received sad lessons. Since Jef- 
ferson, the born enemy of true liberalism, founded 
the Democratic party, the United States had con- 
tinued to descend the declivity of radicalism; a 
work of relentless levelling was thenceforth pur- 
sued, and the domain of the conscience became 
gradually invaded. The democratic party found 
its fulcrum in the South. The slave States forced 
the enclosure of the private tribunal, and confiscated 
in behalf of the State the inviolable rights of the 
individual : neither thought, the press, nor the 
pulpit, were free among them ; the fundamental 
11 



242 THE PRESENT CEISI3 WILL REGENERATE 

maxims of Puritan tradition were sacrificed by 
them one after the other. They did more : thanks 
to them, men were beginning to learn in the 
free States how to set to work to pervert their 
own conseiénces, and to substitute for it respect 
for sovereign majorities. Every day, crj^ing in- 
iquities were covered by the pretext : K we 
were just, we should compromise the national 
unity, or we should risk losing the votes secured 
to our party.'' Violence, menace, brutality, and 
corruption, were boldly introduced into political 
struggles. Men became habituated to evil : the 
most odious crimes, the Southern laws reducing to 
legal slavery every. free negro who should not quit 
the soil of the States, hardly raised a murmlir of 
disapprobation ; the United States seemed on the 
point of losing that faculty which nothing can sur- 
vive — the faculty of indignation. 

Behold in what school the democratic party had 
placed the American people — that noble people 
which, despite the grave faults with which it may 
be reproached, represents in the main many of the 
lofty principles which are allied to the future of 
modem communities. The reign of the Democratic 
party would form the subject of an inglorious his- 
tory ; in it we should see figure the glorification 



THE IXSTITrTIOXS OF THE UNITED STATES. 213 



0/f servitude, piracy applied to international right, 
and, in conclusion, those facts of corruption and 
waste which served to crown its last Presidency. 
The most consistent champions of the doctrines and 
pi^ctices of the democratic party, are those men 
who have just declared that votes are valid only 
on condition of giving the majority to slavery, and 
that a regular election is a sufficient cause for sepa- 
ration. 



coxcirsiox. 



I HAVE not sought to recount events, but to at- 
tempt a study, wliieli I believe to be useful to us, 
and Tvliicli may, also, not be useless to the United 
States. owe them the support of our sympa- 

thy. It is more important than people imagine to 
let them hear words of encouragement from us at 
this decisive moment. Let us not hasten to declare 
that the Union is destroyed, that, henceforth and 
forever, there will be two Confederacies existing on 
the same footing, that the United States of slavery 
will have theii* great 7vle to perform here below, 
like the United States of liberty. This would be, 
in any case, immense exaggeration. Let us not 
forget that the Union has often before seemed lost, 
that the Confederation has often before seemed 
ready to perish. Are the men who are terrified at 
the present perils, ignorant of those which sur- 
rounded the cradle of the United States : mutinous 
troops, contending ambitions, threats of separation. 



CONCLUSION. 



245 



anarchy, ruin? This America, then so weak, is 
the same that has since become so strong, in spite 
of its own faults. At the moment when it rebelled 
against England, it had neither arts and manufac- 
tures, nor commerce, nor marine ; and its two or 
three millions of inhabitants were far from agreeing 
among themselves. Yet such is the vigor of its 
genius, such is its carelessness of every kind of dan- 
ger, such is the impetuosity with which it affronts 
.and surmounts obstacles, such is the power of its 
national motto, " Go ahead ! " that through internal 
struggles, crises, and momentary exhaustion, it has 
attained the stature of a great people. Count the 
steamboats on its rivers, estimate the tonnage of its 
vessels, compute the amount of its internal trade, 
measure the length of its canals and railroads, and 
you will still have but a faint idea of what it is 
capable of undertaking and accomplishing. 

We must remember these things, and not imi- 
tate those enemies of America who sometimes feign 
to put on mourning for her, sometimes jest at her 
distress, and find in the present situation of the dis- 
united States (for thus they style them) an agree^ 
able subject for pleasantry, forgetting that this dis- 
union has a serious cause, which is certainly of im- 
portance enough to make itself understood ; forget- 



246 



CONCLUSION. 



ting, too, that generous struggles for humanity and 
the country are worthy to obtain our fullest respect. 
And let us beware how we say that this crisis does 
not concern us — that we can do nothing: in it. The 
selfish isolation of nations is henceforth impossible. 
The question to be decided here involves our own 
affairs, not only because a portion of our fortune is 
pledged to the United States, but, above all, be- 
cause our principles and our liberties are concerned. 
The victories of justice, wherever they may be won,, 
are the victories of the human race. 

We can aid this one in some measure. Amer- 
ica, which affects sometimes to declare itself indif- 
ferent 'to our oj^inions, gathers them up, however, 
with jealous care. I have seen respectable Ameri- 
cans blush at encountering that instinctive blame 
which, among us, is addressed to the progress of 
slavery ; they suffered at seeing their country thus 
fallen from the esteem which it formerly enjoyed. 
Proud nations like America always avenge them- 
selves by noble impulses for the reprobation which 
they are conscious of having deserved. The moral 
intervention of Europe is not, therefore, superflu- 
ous ; it is the less so, in that the South insults as by 
counting on us. The ringleaders of Charleston and 
Jïew Orleans affect to say that England is ready to 



CONCLUSION. 



247 



open her arms to them, and that France promises 
a sympathizing reception to her envoys ! These 
envoys themselves have been selected with care, 
honorable, having friends among us, — capable, in a 
word, of presenting the cause of slavery in an al- 
most seductive light. It is important, therefore, 
that we should not keep silence. 

Let governments be reserved; let them avoid 
every thing that would resemble direct action in the 
internal affairs of the United States, let them have 
recourse to the commonplaces of speech employed 
by diplomacy to escape pledging their policy — this 
is well. But to imagine that these commonplaces 
promise alliance or protection, is to be credulous 
indeed ! A rebellion under cover of the flag of 
slavery, be sure, will find it diflicult to make parti- 
sans among us French, whatever may be our indo- 
lent indifference in other respects in this matter, an 
indifference so great that at the present time the 
American question does not exist to the most of us. 
Moreover, we shall shake off this inertia ; and, as to 
the English, they will not suffer their brightest title 
to glory in modern times to be tarnished bj^ any 
latent complicity with the Gulf States. The brutal 
doctrines of interest, so often professed j)ublicly in 
Parliament by Mr. Bright, may indeed find organs; 



248 



CONCLUSION. 



and Great Britain will be counselled to remember 
cotton and forget justice. The measure already 
taken by her at Washington, and which appears to 
have been supported by France, a measure designed 
to declare that the blockade of the Southern ports 
must be effectual to be recognized, is perhaps a 
concession wrested from her by this detestable 
school of selfishness. Happily, there is another 
school face to face with this ; the Christian senti- 
ment, the sentiment of abolition, will arise and 
enforce obedience. Xever Avas a more important 
work in store for it. To unveil every suspicious act 
of the British Government, to keep public opinion 
aroused, to maintain, in fine, that noble moral agita- 
tion which makes the success of good causes and 
the safety of free nations, such is the mission 
proffered in England to the defenders of humanity 
and the Gospel. If they could forget it, the popu- 
lace of Mobile or Savannah pursuing English con 
suis, would remind them to what principle th^ 
name of Great Britain is inevitably pledged, for the 
sake of its honor. France and England, I am confi 
dent, will act in unison, here as elsewhere ; theii 
alliance which comprises within itself the germs of 
all true progress, will be found as useful and as fruit- 
ful in the Xew "World as it has proved in the Old. 



OONCLUSION. 



249 



This is of such importance that I beg leave to 
dwell on it; evidently our influence has not yet 
been exercised as it should have been, and if Mr. 
Lincoln now bends somewhat before counsels de- 
void of energy and dignity, it proceeds in part from 
our reserve, our silence, our apparent neutrality — 
who knows ? even from the discouraging language 
that has been sometimes held in our name. The 
publication of the unlucky Morrill Tariff, (signed, 
we may say in passing, by Mr. Buchanan, and the 
revocation of wliich^ I am convinced, will be signed 
some day by Mr. Lincoln,) has given the signal for 
political demonstrations, all of which are very far 
from being to the credit of Europe. Our Moniteur 
has published articles to be regretted, but it is 
above all among the English that the cotton party 
has had full scope. 

Let England beware ! it were better for her to 
lose Malta, Corfu, and Gibraltar, than the glorious 
position which her struggle against slavery and the 
slave trade has secured her in the esteem of nations. 
Even in our age of armed frigates and rifled cannon, 
the chief of all powers, thank God I is moral power. 
Woe to the nation that disregards it, and consents to 
iramolate its principles to its interests ! From the 
beginning of the present conflict, the enemies of 
11^ 



260 



COXCLUSION. 



England, and they arc numerous, have predicted 
that the cause of cotton will weigh heavier in her 
scales than the cause of justice and liberty. Tliey 
are j^reparing to judge her by her conduct in the 
American crisis. Once more, let her beware! 

And under what pretexts do we chaffer with 
tlie government of Mr. Lincoln for those energetic, 
persevering sympathies on Avhich it lias a right to 
count? Let us examine. 

We hear, in the first place, of tlie vigor of the 
South and the weakness of the ÎSorth. It is not 
the first time that a bad cause has shown itself 
more ardent, more daring, less i)reoccupied by 
consequences, than a good one. Good causes have 
scruples, and every scrui:)lc is an obstacle. 

I am assuredly as sorry as any one to see Mr. 
Lincoln struck with a sort of i:>aralysis. To my 
mind, the dangers of inactivity are considerable ; I 
believe that it discourages friends and encourages 
adversaries ; I believe that it sanctions more or less 
the baleful and erroneous principle of secession, a 
principle more contagious than any other ; I believe, 
in fine, that, by postponing civil war, it probably 
risks increasing ito gravity. îs"evertheless, shall we 
not take into account the exceptional difficulties 
with which Mr. Lincoln is surrounded? 



CONCLUSION. 251 

The preceding Administration took care to leave 
no resource in his hands : he found the forts either 
surrendered or indefensible, the arsenals invaded, 
the army scattered, the navy despatched to distant 
parts of the seas. Is it strange that he should 
have yielded in some degree to the entreaties of so 
many able men, all urging in the same direction ? 
If to-morrow he should yield enth'ely, if he should 
recognize the Southern Confederacy, would it be 
great cause for astonishment ? 

Let us not forget, moreover, that the border 
States are at hand, forming a rampart, as it were, 
to protect the extreme South. Several of these 
States, I am convinced, incline sincerely towards 
the North, and will remain united with it ; but are 
there not others, Virginia, for instance, which per- 
haps only refrain from seceding for the better pro- 
tection of those that have done so, and whose pres- 
ent rôle consists in preventing all repression, while 
its future rôle will be to trammel all i^rogress by 
the continued threat of joining the Southern Con- 
federacy ? 

These are serious obstacles; yet I have not pointed 
out the most serious of all — the intense and sincere 
repugnance which many îsorthern people, though 
declared adversaries of slavery, experience towards 



253 CONCLUSION. 

measures that are calculated to provoke slave insur- 
rections, and endanger the safety of the j^lanters. I 
must acknowledge that the patience of the strong 
seems here rather more laudable than the so much 
vaunted audacity of the weak, who count on this 
patience, and know that they can he arrogant with- 
out mucli risk. 

The second pretext that is audaciously brought 
forw^ard to solicit our good will towards the South, 
is that it has just ameliorated the Federal institu- 
tions. Let us ask in what consists this pretended 
amelioration ? Tlie South has not feared to write in 
set terms, in its fundamental law, what none before 
it ever dared write, the constitutional guarantee 
of slavery. Slavery, in accordance with the Con- 
stitution of the South, can neither be suppressed 
nor assailed. Slavery will be the holy ark to be 
regarded with respect from afor off, the corner-stone 
which all are forbidden to touch. By the side of 
this, the South ostentatiously proclaims freedom of 
speech, of the press, of discussion in every form ! 
Men shall be free to speak, but on condition of not 
touching, nearly or remotely, on any subject con- 
nected with slavery, (and every thing is connected 
with it in the South.) They shall be free to print, 
but on condition of giving no writing whatever to 



CONCLUSION. 



253 



the public from which may be inferred the unity of 
mankind, the sanctity of family ties, the great prin- 
ciples, in fact, which the " patriarchal system " 
throws overboard. They shall be free to discuss, 
but on condition of not disturbing this institution, 
impatient by nature, and still more so in future, now 
that it feels itself hemmed in and threatened on all 
sides. It will be by itself alone the whole Consti- 
tution of the South ; this one article will devour the 
rest ; in default of legislatures and courts, the 
Southern populace know how to give force to the 
guarantee of slavery, and to restrain freedom of 
speech, of the press, and of discussion. 

It is true that adroit patrons of the South Caro- 
linian rebellion have a third argument at their ser- 
\^ice which is no less specious. " All is over," they 
exclaim, " there is nobody now to sustain, there are 
no sympathies now to testify ; in four days, peace 
will be madcj the new Confederation will be recog- 
nized by Lincoln in person, a commercial treaty 
will even ally it to the United States : the affair is 
ended." 

The affair is scarcely begim, we answer ; one 
must be blind not to see it. What is ended, is only 
the first skirmish. As to the war, it will be as long, 
believe me, as the life of the two principles which 



254 



CONCLUSION. 



are struggling in America. Let Mr. Lincoln assure 
himself, and let the European adversaries of slavery 
remember as well, that it will be necessary to com- 
bat and to persevere. Xever was a more obstinate 
and more colossal strife commenced on earth. Many 
of the border States will not be long in raising pre- 
tensions to which they will join threats of new se- 
cessions ; they will again bring up the question of 
the Territories, and will propose compromises. 
Who knows ? they will aspire perhaps to establish, 
in the interests of tlie extreme South, the extradition 
of slaves escaped from the rival Confederacy. Who 
knoAvs again ? they will perhaps attempt to restore 
their domestic slave trade with Charleston and Xew 
Orleans. 

Tliis is not all. Tlic time will come when the ex- 
treme South, incapable of enduring the life that it 
has just created for itself, will demand to return tc 
the bosom of the Union. It will then insist on 
dictating its conditions ; it will propose the election 
of a general convention charged with reconstructing 
the Constitution of the L^nited States ; it will ap- 
peal to the selfishness of some, and to the ambition 
or even the patriotism of others, presenting to 
their sight the re-establishment of the common 
greatness which separation had compromised. 



COXCLUSIOX. 



255 



"What a motive to veil principles for a moment ! 
what a temptation to return to the fatal path so 
lately forsaken ! 

I know very well that it will be henceforth im- 
possible to return to it completely ; nevertheless, the 
vicrilance of Mr. Lincoln will not cease to be neces- 
sary, and what will be no less necessary, is the 
moral support which we are bound to lend him in 
the hour of success and in the hour of discouras^e- 
ment, in good and in bad reputation. Where do 
wo find a more glorious cause than this ? despite the 
impure alloy which is mingled with it, of course, 
as with all glorious causes, is it not fitted to stir up 
generous hearts ? Already, thanks to the defeat of 
the democratic party, the United States that we 
once knew, those of the last ten years, those that 
the South governed with its wand, those whose in- 
stitutions were corrupted and debased by slavery, 
those who numbered in the Xorth as in the South 
so many fortunes based openly on the slave traffic, 
those who had seen amons: their Presidents a slave 
merchant, carrying on his speculations in public 
view — these United States have just ended their ca- 
reer, they have entered the domain of history, their 
disappearance has been verified by the retreat of 
the extreme South. 



256 



CONCLUSION. 



The American people are now striving to rise. 
Enterprise as difficult as glorious. Whatever may 
be the issue of the first conflict just about to be 
decided, this will be only the first conflict. There 
v/ill be many others ; the uprising of a great people 
is not the work of a day. Sometimes at peace, 
sometimes perhaps at war with the States that take 
in hand the cause of slavery^ the American Confed- 
eration will witness the development, one after an- 
other, of the consequences necessarily produced by 
that decisive event, the election of Mr. Lincoln. 
Having broken with the past, it will be forced to 
enter further and further into the path of the future. 
We have already seen that, whichever liyj)otliesis is 
realized of those which we are jDermittcd to foresee, 
the cause of slavery is destined to experience defeat 
after defeat. It lias ceased to grow, it is about to 
decrease, to decrease by separation, to decrease by 
union, to decrease by peace, to decrease by war. 
As surely as there will be obstacles without num- 
ber to surmount in order to accomplish this work, 
so surely will this work be accomplished. Cer- 
tainly, it deserves to be loved and sustained, with- 
out discouragement and hesitation. Europe will 
comprehend it. 

On seeing her attitude, the angry champions of 



CONCLUSION. 



257 



slavery will doubtless perceive that tliey are mis- 
taken, and that it is time to make new calculations. 
As for the brave men of the North, they will be 
glad to learn w^hat is thought of them on this side 
of the Atlantic. This may aid, and greatly, in the 
more or less distant re-establishment of the Union. 
If the Gulf States knew w^hat insurmountable dis- 
gust will be aroused here by their Confederacy, 
founded to secure the duration and prosperity of 
slavery ; if the border States knew what sympathies 
they gain by siding with liberty, and what 
maledictions they will incur by declaring themselves 
for slavery ; if the Northern States knew what sup- 
port is secured to them by that power, the chief of 
all others, j)ublic opinion, we are justified in believ- 
ing that the present crisis would come to a prompt 
and peaceful solution. 

It is a fixed fact that the nineteenth century will 
see the end of slavery in all its forms ; and woe to 
him who opposes the march of such a progress ! 
Who is not deeply impressed by the thought that, 
on the 4tli of March, at the very hour when Mr. 
Lincoln, in taking possession of the Presidency 
at Washington, signified to the attentive world the 
will of a great republic, determined to arrest the 
conquests of slavery, the generous head of a great 



258 



CONCLUSIOX. 



empire signified to his ministers his immutable re 
solve to prepare for the emancipation of the serfs. In 
such coincidences, who does not recognize the finger 
of God. I am, therefore, tranquil : Kussian opposi- 
tion has failed, American opposition will fail. There 
will be American opposition ; there will be, there 
is such already, in tlie very surroundings and cabi- 
net of the President. "We have just seen how it 
seeks to enervate his resolutions, to pledge him irre- 
vocably to that wavering policy, more to be dreaded 
for him tlian the projects of assassination about 
which, right or wrong, so much noise has been 
made. Nevertheless, this evil has its bounds 
marked out in advance ; he whom God guards is 
well guarded. If you wish to know what tlie Presi- 
dency of Mr. Lincoln will be in the end, see in what 
manner and under what auspices it was inaugurated ; 
listen to the words that fell from the lips of the 
new President as he quitted his native town : The 
task that devolves upon me is greater, perhaps, 
than that which has devolved on any other man 
since the days of Washington. I hope that you, 
my friends, will all pray that I may receive that as- 
sistance from on high, without which I cannot suc- 
ceed, but with which success is certain.'' " Yes, 
yes ; we will pray for you ! Such was the re- 



CONCLtrSIOI^^. 



259 



sponse of the inhabitants of Springfield, who, weep- 
ing, and with uncovered heads, witnessed the de- 
parture tî)f their fellow-citizen. What a début for a 
government ! Have there been many inangiirations 
here below of such thrilling solemnity ? Do uni- 
forms and plumes, the roar of cannon, triumphal 
arches, and vague appeals to Providence, equal 
these simple words : Pray for me ! " We will 
pray for you " ! Ah ! courage, Lincoln ! the friends 
of freedom and of America are with you. Cour- 
age ! you hold in your hands the destinies of a great 
principle and a great people. Courage ! You have 
to resist your friends and to face your foes ; it is the 
fate of all who seek to do good on earth. Courage ! 
You will have need of it to-morrow, in a year, to 
the end ; you w411 have need of it m peace and in 
war ; you will have need of it to avert the compro- 
mise in peace or war of that noble progress which 
it is your charge to accomplish, more than in con- 
quests of slavery. Courage ! your rôle, as you have 
said, may be inferior to no other, not even to that 
of Washington : to raise up the United States will 
not be less glorious than to have founded them. 

It is doubtless from a distance that we express 
these sympathies, but there are things which are 
judged better from a distance than near at hand. 



260 



CONCLUSION. 



Europe is well situated to estimate tlie present crisis. 
The opinion of France, esj)ecially5 should have some 
weight with the United States : independently of our 
old alliances, we are, of all nations, perhaps, the 
most interested in the success of the Confederation. 
They are friendly voices which, here and elsewhere, 
in our reviews and our journals, bear to it the cor- 
dial expression of our wishes. In wishing the final 
triumph of the Is orth, we wish the salvation of the 
North and South, their common greatness and their 
lasting prosperity. 

But the South disquiets us ; we cannot disguise 
it. It is in bad hands. A sort of terror reigns 
there ; important but moderate men are forced to 
bow the head, or to feel that it will be necessary to 
do so ere long. The planters must see already tliat, 
in seeking to put away what they call the yoke 
of the North, they are preparing for themselves 
other masters. Business is suspended, money for 
cultivation is lacking, credit is everywhere refused, 
the ensuing harvest is mortgaged, the loans which 
it is sought to issue find no takers outside the ex- 
treme South. The resources of revolution remain, 
and they will be used unsparingly. 

What a position ! Under the Constitution voted 
scarcely a month ago, we already hear the deep 



CONCLUSION. 



261 



rumbling of the quarrels of classes, of the planters 
and the poor whites, of the aristocracy and the 
numerical majority, of the prudent adversaries of 
the slave trade and its headstrong partisans, of the 
statesmen who arc tolerated for appearances and 
those who count on replacing them, of the present 
and the future. 

People will some day see clearly, even in 
Charleston. The separation which was to establish 
the prosperity of the South by permitting it at last 
to live to its liking, to obey its genius, and to serve 
its interests, has hitherto resulted in little, save the 
singing of the Marseillaise^ (the Marseillaise of Sla- 
very ! ) and the striking down of the Federal colors 
before the flag of the pelican and the rattlesnake. 
A great many blue ribbons and Colt's revolvers are 
sold ; and busts of Calhoun, the first theorist of se- 
cession, are carried about ostentatiously. ISText, to 
present a good mien to the eyes of Euroj)e, a Con- 
stitution is voted in haste, a government is formed, 
an army is decreed ; but the revolutionary basis is 
remaining, and we perceive but too quickly how 
great disorder prevails in minds and things. 

At the present hour, the democracy of the South 
is about to degenerate into demagogism. But the 
North presents quite a different spectacle, Mark 



262 



CONCLUSION. 



what is passing there ; pierce beneath appearances, 
beneath the inevitable -wavering of a debut so well 
prepared for by the preceding Administration, and 
you will find the firm resolution of a peoj)le upris- 
ing. Who speaks of the end of the United States ? 
This end seemed approaching but lately, in the hour 
of prosperity ; then, honor was compromised, es- 
teem for the country was lowered, institutions were 
becoming corrupted apace ; the moment seemed 
approaching when the Confederation, tainted by 
slavery, could not but perish with it. ÎTow, every 
thing has changed aspect ; the friends of America 
should take confidence, for its greatness is insepar- 
able, thank God ! from the cause of justice. 

Justice cannot do wrong / I like to recall this 
maxim when I consider the present state of Amer- 
ica. In escaping a sudden and shameful death, it 
will not, assuredly, escape struggles and difficulties ; 
in returning to life, it will encounter battle and 
danger longer than it imagines ; life is composed 
of this. To live is a laborious vocation, and nations 
who wish to keep their place here below, who wish 
to act and not to sleep, must know that they will 
have their share of sufiering. Perhaps it enters 
into the plans of God that the United States should 
endure for a time some diminution of their great- 



CONCLUSIOIT. 



263 



ness ; let them be sure, notwithstanding, that their 
flag will be neither less respected nor less glorious, 
if it shall thus lose a few of its stars. Those which 
it loses will reappear on it some day, and how many 
others, meanwhile, wdll come to increase the Federal 
Constellation ! With what acclamations will Eu- 
rope salute the future progress of the United States, 
as soon as their progress shall have ceased to be that 
of slavery ! 

At present, the point in question is to liquidate 
a bad debt. The moment of liquidation is always 
painful ; but when it is over, credit revives. So 
will it be in America. She has often boasted of the 
energetic sang-froid of her merchants ; when ruined, 
they neither lament, nor are discouraged ; there is a 
fortune to make again. In the same manner, put- 
ting things at the worst, supposing the present crisis 
to be comparable to ruin ; there is a nation to make 
again, it will be re-made. " Gentlemen," said Mr. 
Seward lately, in concluding his great speech in 
Congress, " if this Union were shattered to-day by 
the spirit of faction, it would reconstruct itself to- 
morrow with the former majestic proportions." 



THE END. 




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